17 Fatal Crashes, 973 DUI Arrests Over Memorial Day Weekend in California

17 Fatal Crashes, 973 DUI Arrests Over Memorial Day Weekend in California

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

May 31, 2019

Ellis Law Corporation


It was a deadly Memorial Day weekend in California. Seventeen deadly crashes took the lives of 21 people, according to California Highway Patrol. Despite the sobriety checkpoints and ramped-up enforcement on California roadways, eight people died in the first six hours of the weekend.

LA Ties Houston For The Deadliest City for Holiday Driving

Memorial Day marks the beginning of the “100 deadliest days of summer,” which runs through Labor Day. The combination of holiday partying and travel proves dangerous for California drivers. Over past Labor Day weekends, over a third of all crashes were caused by intoxicated drivers, according to the NHTSA. 

Memorial Day weekend is the #1 most dangerous holiday for driving nationwide. Motorists and their passengers are four times as likely to die in a crash than a regular weekend, according to a recent study compiling data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 2011 to 2015, there were 312 fatal accidents, compared to 308 over Labor Day weekend and 307 over the Fourth of July.

The dubious distinction of “Deadliest City for Holiday Travel” was tied between Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California. Houston ranked worst for Memorial Day, July 4th, and New Year’s, while Los Angeles was most dangerous for travelers over Labor Day, Easter, and Thanksgiving. San Antonio, Texas was the most dangerous city for Christmas drivers.

More Traffic Means More Accidents, But Are They Blameless?

With a forecasted 34.6 million Americans driving more than 50 miles over this Memorial Day weekend (the highest number since 2005), a few traffic accidents were inevitable. At this time last year, 43 people were injured in alcohol-related collisions, representing 25% of all crash injuries, according to Los Angeles police. Drug-impaired driving accidents are on the rise in California as well, adds the LAPD.

However, many of these holiday deaths are preventable. More than half of those killed this Memorial Day weekend were not wearing seatbelts. While the causes are still under investigation, alcohol ends up a factor in many of the fatal crashes. California Highway Patrol made 973 DUI arrests from Friday through midnight Monday.

Among those involved in accidents this weekend:

  • A 24-year-old Selma man was  thrown from his 1996 Toyota Tacoma and killed in a rollover on Clovis Ave, east of Malaga around 6:38 a.m. The man was not wearing a seatbelt, officers said.
  • A 21-year-old San Jose man was killed in a single-car accident on Highway 101 southbound at Hellyer Avenue. The driver was arrested on DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges.
  • Five people were injured in a fiery collision on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. One of the drivers was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
  • A man suffered major injuries, requiring transport by helicopter, after a car struck him on Highway 4 and Bixler Road in Discovery Bay. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Where To Find A Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were involved in one of California’s serious or fatal Memorial Day accidents, then you need the best possible legal representation for your claim. Ellis Injury Law is a leading personal injury firm in Los Angeles. Over the past 20 years, we’ve secured over $350 million for our personal injury clients. Even if you’re not 100% sure what happened, let our team of skilled investigators get to the bottom of it. It costs nothing upfront to have a car accident attorney review your case. Contact us to learn more about filing a claim for compensation to cover medical bills and wage losses. In the worst cases, we can recover funeral and burial costs for grieving family members who have lost a loved one.