A 25-year-old Gilroy man died at the scene of a San Jose car accident involving
a wrong-way driver who officials say may have been driving under the influence
of alcohol (DUI). According to
The Bay City News Service, the
fatal DUI accident occurred on U.S. Highway 101 north of Blossom Hill Road. Officials say
a 2000 Honda van was traveling in the wrong direction when it sideswiped
a tour bus and struck a 2014 Honda car and a 2005 Dodge. The Dodge landed
in a small ditch on the side of the road.
The 21-year-old driver of the Dodge was able to escape with moderate injuries
but his passenger died at the scene. A 24-year-old Castroville woman in
a Volkswagen that had to turn suddenly to avoid the crash suffered minor
injuries. The 22-year-old driver of the Honda van sustained major injuries
and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in Santa Clara County.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 34 of the 91 fatal car accidents
that occurred in Santa Clara County in 2011 were alcohol-related. During
that same year, 18 people were killed and 385 people were injured in San
Jose DUI accidents. There were also two DUI fatalities and seven alcohol-related
injuries suffered in Gilroy.
In San Jose, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is typically
a misdemeanor, but California drivers can face felony DUI charges for
causing an injury or death to another. Furthermore, drivers who cause
a death while under the influence can face vehicular manslaughter charges.
A conviction for felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter will result in criminal
penalties, but it will not automatically result in compensation for the
The family of someone killed in a drunk driving accident can hold the at-fault
driver accountable by filing a wrongful death claim. A successful lawsuit
can result in support for losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost future wages
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Other related losses
Families of deceased victims may have a tough time financially pursuing
a negligent driver. It would be in their best interests to contact an
experienced San Jose personal injury lawyer to obtain more information
about pursuing their legal rights.