2 Killed in Pico Rivera Crash – Possible DUI

2 Killed in Pico Rivera Crash – Possible DUI

July 14, 2016

Ellis Law Corporation


A violent collision on early Monday morning claimed the lives of two men and left another critically injured. According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the fatal crash took place in the 5500 block of Paramount Boulevard, just after 4 AM. Police say the two men were killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into their vehicle in Pico Rivera. The victims were headed to work in their Honda Civic when a Cadillac driven by the suspect swerved from the oncoming lane, smashing into their vehicle head-on. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Los Angeles police later identified the victims as 59-year-old Rodrigo Mendez of Los Angeles and Javier Gonzalez, 64, of Huntington Park.

The suspect is David Mendizabal, 21, of Whittier. Mendizabal suffered life-threatening injuries in the accident. Authorities say his legs were partially crushed from the impact. He was taken to USC Medical Center for emergency treatment.

DUI and vehicle manslaughter charges pending

An off-duty EMT who was awoken from the sound of the crash rushed to the scene. After failing to note any vital signs in Mendez and Gonzalez, Eloy Lara says he moved his attention to David Mendizabal.  Lara told ABC7 News that he smelled alcohol on the suspect’s breath and asked the man point blank if he had been drinking. Mendizabal replied that he had.

Officials have yet to announce if the suspect will be charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Meanwhile, the accident is still under investigation though police say that excess speed definitely contributed to the crash. Neighbors in the Pico Rivera area claim the wide boulevard has become popular for drag racing and speeding, putting motorists and pedestrians at risk.

The fatal collision took place near a stretch of road that has been dubbed “Suicide Curve.” In an effort to keep lanes separated, flexible posts were installed on the boulevard, but even this barrier attempt failed.

Liability in car accidents

The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys of Ellis Law appreciate the grave repercussions faced by car accident victims and their loved ones. When serious injuries or death is caused by the negligent actions of another driver, the courts provide channels for seeking legal compensation. Litigation may never undue the heartbreak of losing a brother, a father or a grandfather, but it can hold reckless and drunk drivers accountable for their decisions.

In the wake of a fatal DUI collision, the victim’s family may choose to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages for wrongful death, burial expenses, loss of financial support and future earnings, pain and emotional suffering. Establishing liability in a drunk driving case often hinges on the results of a breathalyzer test, which will show if the defendant had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

Expert legal representation in Los Angeles

Crashes caused by intoxicated drivers are entirely avoidable, yet they claim innocent lives every day here in California and across the nation.  At Ellis Law, we believe that you should never have to suffer because of another’s negligence. We work hard to recover complete compensation for our clients, and have procured multi-million payouts in numerous car accident lawsuits.

Explore your options for legal recourse with an award-winning personal injury law firm. Call 310-641-3335 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.