LAPD Officer Arrested in DUI Crash That Left Three People Dead
A Los Angeles police officer has been arrested in connection with a horrific DUI crash in Whittier, which left three people dead the night of September 26, 2017. According to an NBC news report, officials said 26-year-old Edgar Verduzco of Santa Ana was speeding in his 2016 Chevy Camaro on the 605 Freeway just north of Washington Boulevard when he struck a 2014 Nissan and a 2010 Scion from behind. The impact of the crash caused the Nissan to burst into flames trapping three occupants – a father, mother and their teenage son — who died at the scene.
The driver of the Scion, 31-year-old Berly Alvarado, was transported to a hospital after complaining of pain. Verduzco, who suffered major injuries, was arrested on suspicion of DUI causing bodily injury. LAPD officials said the department has begun an internal investigation and that they will cooperate with California Highway Patrol officials in their probe of the crash. Chief Charlie Beck has said that his department has “no tolerance for driving under the influence” and that his officers will be held to “the highest standards of professionalism” both on and off duty.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of those who were killed in this horrific crash. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
California DUI Laws
It is illegal under California law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to whether the officer was on the job at the time of the accident. In such cases, DUI drivers, in addition to facing criminal penalties can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. The survivors of those who died can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If the at-fault driver was on the job at the time, his or her employer may also be held liable.
A wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will be able to help DUI accident victims navigate what can be a complex process and help them secure maximum compensation for their losses.