• A southbound drunk driver in a Mitsubishi crashed into a Sentra sedan and knocked it across the center divider into the northbound side of the freeway.
• The Sentra was hit by an oncoming pickup truck and came to a stop in a traffic lane, where it was hit by an oncoming motorcycle.
• The motorcyclist was killed in the accident.
• The drunk driver was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges.
California Highway Patrol officials said 27-year-old Leslie Juarez of Laguna Beach was driving a 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse at a high speed, under the influence of alcohol, when she crashed into a 2006 Nissan Sentra on the freeway.
The impact knocked the Sentra over the center median wall and into the carpool and No. 1 and 2 lanes on the northbound side of the freeway, the CHP said in a news release.
A northbound 1995 Toyota Tacoma hit the Sentra, which brought the Sentra to stop in a traffic lane on the freeway. A 1999 Suzuki motorcycle was unable to stop quickly enough to avoid crashing into the disabled Sentra, the CHP said.
The motorcyclist — a 32-year-old man from Tustin — was killed. His name was withheld, pending notification of his next of kin.
Juarez suffered minor injuries and was taken to Hoag Hospital to be treated. She was arrested on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Police later booked her into the Orange County Jail, CHP officer Curtis Martin said in a video interview with the Register (via Scene TV).
The accident remains under investigation. The CHP is urging anyone with information to call the Santa Ana office at (714) 567-6000.
Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Almost 11,000 people die every year in drunk driving car accidents on U.S. roads, according to federal government statistics published by the non-profit group Alcohol Alert. Drunk driving deaths account for more than a third of all U.S. traffic fatalities.
Many people believe drunk drivers fare better than their victims on the road, but that is not true. Almost two-thirds of those who are killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes are drunk drivers.
Drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes are typically not first-time offenders. Statistics show they are eight times more likely to have a prior drunk driving conviction than other drivers involved in fatal accidents.
More than half of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents have levels of alcohol in their blood that are twice the legal limit — or more.
Irvine Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented drunk driving accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
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