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Ellis Law Serves As Proud Sponsor For 24th Annual Manhattan Wine Auction

Saturday, June 9th marked the 24th annual Manhattan Wine Auction, held at the Manhattan Country Club and attended by the distinguished LA attorneys from Ellis Law Corporation.

The Charity

All proceeds from the charitable event fund the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and the MBEF Endowment, which supplements state funding for “programs that inspire learning, enrich teaching, and promote innovation and academic excellence” in the five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school that make up the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

Despite being the fourth-lowest-funded school district in California, the school programs remain supported by private donations and have achieved nationwide recognition for their journalism, model UN, robotics, drama, dance, choir, cheerleading, orchestra, marching band, color guard, and music programs.

Last year, the MBEF paid for 73 educators and guidance counselors, in addition to funding a broad spectrum of programs — from math, reading, and writing, to hands-on science, physical education, and technology.

LA Law Firm Invests in Local Education

The Ellis Law Corporation sponsored a Cabernet Family Table at this year’s event.

“When you see the event raised almost over $1.3 million for the Manhattan Beach schools, protecting so many programs and teaching positions, it’s really inspiring to be part of such an important event,” said Andy Ellis. “By the year 2020, the Wine Auction will be on-track to grow the [MBEF] Endowment to $20 million and distribute $1 million annually to support this school district.”

The Event

Founding Partner Andy Ellis described their evening as “a night to remember.” He added, “Everyone from our firm had a fantastic time at the Manhattan Wine Auction. What’s better than delicious food, fine wine, and a worthy cause? We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed dining and dancing under the stars.”

General tickets for the event sold for $300 – $500 per person, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. The event began at 4 p.m. with the Reserve Room in the Club Terrace and Sky Deck opening up for food samples from 40 local restaurants and drinks from 80 wineries, distilleries, and breweries. Notable vendors such as Rock N’ Fish, Fishbar, and Fishing with Dynamite were among the long list of participants.

Bidding for the Silent Auction began one week prior to the event, with mobile and online bidding, for items including tickets for area sporting events, vacation packages, unique dining experiences, and exclusive tee times.

In addition to their participation in the Manhattan Beach Wine Auction, Ellis Law Corporation remains active in its effort to support the local community and educators. The firm has also donated over 5,000 items to local organizations with the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities and helped found the Old Bridge Militia to rebuild high school music programs.

 

Street Racing Suspected in 8-Vehicle Crash in Los Angeles That Leaves Two in Critical Condition

Blue flasher on the police car at night.In early June, a possible street race in Reseda ended with two drivers damaging eight vehicles, in a scene that was reported as resembling “Armageddon.”

Police suspect street racing as the culprit because calls to the department just prior to the crash indicated street racing was taking place and because two drivers lost control of their cars. One of them clipped a van parked on the street, and the accidents cascaded from there.

One driver attempted to run away on foot. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). The other driver was taken to the hospital.

Los Angeles police said that two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Another person had injuries.

Pictures of the scene showed vehicles sitting on top of each other and hoods destroyed, indicating that the crash force was huge.

Los Angeles police have been trying to combat street racing in recent years. The races, at high speeds in residential neighborhoods and often involving alcohol, are dangerous both to racers and to neighborhoods and passers-by.

Liability for Street Racing Crashes

Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, readers should know that drivers who violate California law can be held liable for damage to people and property resulting from a crash. Drivers are expected to obey the speed limit, the laws of the road, and safe driving principles.

California DUI law, in addition, is designed to discourage drinking and driving. In the first offence, a driver convicted of a DUI can receive a jail sentence of as long as 6 months and be fined as much as $1,000. The arrest will be on the driver’s record for 10 years.

The penalties rise after the first offense.

Drivers guilty of a DUI in California can have a suit brought against them for ordinary negligence or gross negligence. Ordinary negligence indicates the person did not act with proper care. Gross negligence indicates the person acted with extreme disregard for others’ safety.

If You Need a Seasoned Southern California Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a driver who was not obeying California law or was guilty of a DUI, the drive may be charged with negligence. In California, you may be entitled to damages for personal injury, property damage, medical care, loss of income, physical therapy, and funerals.

The Ellis Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience in southern California car accidents. Call us at 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation on your case.

Additional Resources:

  1. Stevens, Matt, Frank Shyong, and Brittny Meija. “Deadly Street Racing Fueled by Social Media, Popular Culture, Police Say.” Los Angeles Times. February 29, 2016.  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-street-racing-popularity-20160229-story.html
  2. White, Jeremy B. “Suspected Los Angeles street race ends in massive crash ‘like Armageddon.’” The Independent. June 7, 2018. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/car-race-la-street-crash-reseda-dui-driver-video-a8388301.html

Tesla Sedan with Autopilot Crashes in Laguna Beach

cockpit of autonomous car. a vehicle running self driving mode and a woman driver reading book.Recently, a Tesla sedan with Autopilot crashed into a Laguna Beach Police Department vehicle. Fortunately, no one was in the vehicle, which was parked at the time. The Tesla’s driver suffered minor injuries, according to the police.

This is the latest in a series of accidents with Tesla Autopilot vehicles. Four are being actively investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Three of them are examining the Autopilot function itself. The fourth concerns the crash of a Tesla Model S in southern Florida, which burned after a high-speed crash. Two high school seniors in the Model S were killed. According to Tesla, Autopilot was not being used before the crash.

Autopilot Vehicles Are Not Self-Driving

While the details of what caused the vehicle to crash in Laguna Beach are not yet known, Tesla did issue a statement reminding motorists that Tesla drivers are cautioned always to maintain control of the cars. They should keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road.

In other words, the fact that a vehicle has Autopilot engaged doesn’t mean that the vehicle is self-driving and will avoid obstacles, adjust to traffic, and avoid collisions on its own. Drivers still need to ensure that safe driving is done.

In addition, the company pointed out that prior to activating Autopilot, drivers view a dialogue box stating that “Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings.”

Are Drivers or Manufacturers Liable?

The growing number of Autopilot crashes raises issues of liability in the case of automobile accidents both in southern California and across the country. Is the driver potentially to blame for poor decisions or not obeying traffic laws, as they would be in standard vehicles? Or is the car manufacturer to blame for the failure of the car to drive safely?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Society of Automotive Engineers, there are 6 levels of automated driving, from 0 to 5. At levels 0, 1, and 2, the driver is in complete control of the car. At levels 3, 4, and 5, though, the computer systems in the car and the car itself increasingly control all driving and all decisions.

If fully autonomous vehicles are approved for Los Angeles and the nation’s roads, it is possible that car manufacturers of level 3, 4, and 5 vehicles could be judged liable for automobile accidents.

So could companies involved in the development, manufacture, and sale of the vehicles, depending on the nature of the accident and the surrounding circumstances. The systems might be found at fault, or the dissemination of information from the dealerships.

Hurt on the Road? Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death from a car crash in southern California caused by a car on Autopilot or any other type of vehicle, call us today. We have spent more than 20 years investigating and successfully litigating automobile accidents in the Los Angeles area.

Contact Ellis Injury Law today at 1-800-INJURED for a discussion about your case, at no cost to you.

Additional Autopilot Car Crash Resources:

  1. Cassidy, Megan. “Who is liable if a self-driving car crashes? Tesla mishap raises issues.” USAToday. April 3, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/04/03/tesla-mishap-raises-issues-self-driving-liability/99880620/
  2. Cook, Jeffrey. “Tesla’s Autopilot woes continue with Laguna Beach police car crash.” ABC 30 Action News. June 4, 2018. http://abc30.com/news/teslas-autopilot-woes-continue-with-laguna-beach-police-car-crash-/3552432/
  3. Dave, Paresh. “Tesla’s ‘autopilot mode’ puts it at risk for liability in crashes.” Los Angeles Times. July 6, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-tesla-liabilty-20160705-snap-story.html

2 Dead in High-Speed Crash in Whittier

car accident

Two men from Whittier were pronounced dead after a three-car accident during the early morning hours of May 2, 2018. The crash occurred at about 4:30 a.m. near Slauson and Boer Avenues. Early news reports indicated that one of the vehicles looked like it had been split virtually in half. In addition to the two fatalities, two other individuals were taken to area hospitals with minor to moderate injuries.

3-car crash was also a hit-and-run crash

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche and a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado were the trucks involved in the crash. Also involved was a 2014 Ford Fusion. Both of the fatalities were victims in the Ford Fusion. The men were ages 28 and 30, and they were traveling east on Slauson. The CHP released a statement suggesting that the crash was being investigated as a possible speed contest, with the driver of the Ford Fusion racing with another, fourth vehicle.

The driver of the Ford Fusion lost control, and crossed into the lanes of oncoming traffic. At that point, the Fusion struck the two trucks in head-on collisions. Both drivers of the trucks sustained injuries.

Witnesses informed CHP that the fourth vehicle was a gray BMW, being driven by a white man in his 20s. The unidentified driver was seen stopping briefly at the crash before getting back into his BMW and driving away before the first responders arrived.

In California, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Hit and run accidents may be investigated as either misdemeanor or felony offenses.

Wrongful death cases: What are the family’s legal rights?

In cases in which a negligent driver’s actions causes the death of another person, the surviving family members may still be able to hold that individual responsible. Some car crashes result in criminal charges. Any criminal trial that results from a crash will proceed completely independently of a civil lawsuit. Since criminal trials require a higher burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) than a civil lawsuit, it’s quite possible for a defendant to be found liable for damages, even if that person was found not guilty of criminal charges.

Like personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. This means that the family would forfeit their right to file a lawsuit if they wait longer than two years after the date of death. Even if there was plenty of time, however, it’s still best to consult a lawyer as soon as possible. Evidence degrades over time, and eyewitness’ memories can become hazy. The best chance of securing justice for a deceased loved one is to take action promptly.

Could you have a wrongful death claim in California?

The LA car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law provide vigorous legal advocacy services for the family members of deceased crash victims. If a negligent or reckless driver has left your family mourning the loss of a loved one, you may be able to pursue justice in the courtroom. Call our law firm in Los Angeles at 888-828-5603 to request a free case review. Our attorneys have secured millions in compensation for our clients throughout southern California.

Additional Resources:

  1. Los Angeles Times, Car split in half, vehicle flipped on its roof in fatal crash in Whittier, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-whittier-fatal-crash-20180502-story.html
  2. CBS Los Angeles, CHP: 2 Men Killed In Whittier Crash May Have Been Racing, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/05/02/whittier-double-fatal-crash-slauson/

Suspected DUI Crash into Redlands Home Sends Two to Hospital

ambulanceTwo people were sent to the hospital as a result of a car that crashed through fences and the kitchen and dining room of a home in Redlands on May 8. Deeming the home unsafe to occupy in the wake of the accident, California authorities red-tagged it.

The Redlands Police Department arrested the driver, Jason Robert Sheridan, 27, on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).

Redlands home will have to be rebuilt after crash

An occupant in the home, a 60-year-old woman, suffered facial lacerations and was sent to an area hospital. So was a passenger in Sheridan’s vehicle, a Dodge Challenger. Both the 55-year-old brother and 87-year-old mother of the injured woman were also in the home during the crash, but escaped injury.

The man, Lee Hernandez, was in tears after the accident. His parents purchased the house in 1950 and he grew up in it along with 4 sisters. He plans to rebuild it.

Hernandez indicated that he hears racing up and down streets around the home, which is near Clay Street and Brockton Avenue, and heard “tires screeching and metal crunching” right before the car hit his home, according to NBC News. “The crunch kept going, it was unbelievable.”

Although the Challenger hit at least one fence before ramming into Hernandez’s home, police said there was no evidence to indicate that Sheridan was racing or even driving at high speeds.

The property was littered with debris after the accident.

Liability in the case of a DUI

California law on DUIs is very strict. A driver who caused an accident due to a DUI can be given a jail sentence of up to 6 months and be fined up to $1,000 if it is a first offense. The arrest stays on the driver’s record for 10 years.

The penalties climb steeply after the first offense.

Drivers arrested for a DUI in California can also be prosecuted for ordinary negligence or gross negligence. Ordinary negligence means the person did not act with proper care, and gross negligence is acting with extreme disregard for the safety of others.

Call an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a driver under the influence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you with expenses, including those related to property damage, medical care, loss of income, and even funeral costs.

The Ellis Law Firm has decades of experience successfully litigating DUI cases in southern California. Call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer today at 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation at no cost to you. Let us help you use the laws to get what you deserve.

Additional Resources:

  1. Guinyard, Toni and Jonathan Lloyd. “’This is Stupid’: Driver Arrested on Suspicion of DUI After Crashing Dodge Challenger into House.” NBC Los Angeles. May 9, 2018. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Up-to-3-Taken-to-Hospital-After-Car-Crashes-Into-Redlands-Home-482164651.html
  2. Valenzuela, Beatriz E. “Suspected drunken driver plows through Redlands house, injuring woman inside.” The Press-Enterprise. May 9, 2018. https://www.pe.com/2018/05/09/suspected-drunken-driver-plows-through-redlands-house-injuring-woman-inside/

2 Dead in Fiery Crash in Inglewood, CA

Blue flasher on the police car at night.A horrific car crash has left two dead and one in critical condition. The accident happened in Inglewood at around 9:23 a.m. on Thursday, May 10. It occurred close to the county fire station, near the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and 107th Street. Although the firefighter-paramedics immediately rushed out to assist the victims, aided by bystanders, one of the victims had already died and was pronounced at the scene. CPR was unsuccessfully administered to the other victim.

The third, surviving victim was extricated from a vehicle by an off-duty firefighter. The individual reportedly sustained a broken leg and was in critical condition when taken to a local hospital.

Speeding may have been a factor in the crash

According to eyewitness statements and preliminary remarks by law enforcement officials, an Infiniti was heading northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard. The Infiniti then struck an oncoming car as this second vehicle was making a left-hand turn. The oncoming car, only described as a white vehicle, contained the two victims who did not survive.

The force of the impact was strong enough to land the vehicles about a block apart from each other. “It seemed as if it was a blast, you know. Like a bomb,” said one witness, referring to the sound of the crash. Both of the vehicles became engulfed in flames when one of the gas tanks ruptured.

Security footage from along Crenshaw Boulevard indicated that the Infiniti had been traveling much faster than other vehicles heading in the same direction, and one of the officials on the scene said that speed was being considered as a possible factor in the crash.

It’s unknown whether substance-related impairment could also have been a factor. One witness, who had been driving northbound alongside the Infiniti, said that its driver had been attempting to flirt with her. The woman said she ignored him, and then the driver of the Infiniti sped off. She further stated that the Infiniti was being driven erratically, and nearly rear-ended a separate vehicle prior to the horrific crash. Skid marks found at the scene suggested that the driver did try to slow down prior to striking the white vehicle.

Liability considerations in car accidents

Civil lawsuits are often filed in the wake of a major accident. In cases in which victims do not survive, the immediate family members may have the basis to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver or other at-fault party. In any car accident case, a lawyer will determine causation of the crash, which helps establish which party may have been at fault. In cases of reckless driving, the driver who commits these actions may be said to have violated the duty of care owed to others on the roadway.

Legal advocacy services for car crash victims

Ellis Injury Law extends our sincere condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in fatal car accidents. We understand how difficult it is to move forward after a serious car crash. Our auto accident lawyers serving Los Angeles and the surrounding areas offer free, no-obligation case consultations so that you can make an informed decision regarding your options for securing compensation for your losses. Call toll-free at (888) 369-2446.

Additional resources:

  1. ABC7, 2 dead, 1 injured in fiery high-speed Inglewood crash, http://abc7.com/traffic/2-dead-1-critical-in-fiery-inglewood-crash/3455586/
  2. NBC Los Angeles, Surviving Driver Was Acting Out Before Fatal Collision, Witness Said, https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Inglewood-Fatal-Crash-Crenshaw-482297671.html

Alleged DUI Crash Kills 3 in Vermont Knolls, Los Angeles

emergency vehiclesAn infant, a child, and an adult all lost their lives in a fiery car crash on Saturday, April 28. Thirty-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia, the driver accused of causing the accident, was arrested on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and three felony counts of murder. The crash occurred in south Los Angeles in Vermont Knolls.

Horrific accident tears apart family of 5

A family was traveling in their blue Dodge Caravan that Saturday. They were passing through the intersection at South Hoover and West 76th Streets when Garcia’s black Nissan Xterra SUV ran the red light and broadsided the van. An eyewitness told reporters that the van was dragged about 25 feet down the street. It burst into flames upon striking a curb.

Within moments of the crash, bystanders were running toward the wreckage trying to help the survivors. “It was terrible. I had to see these two little boys,” said eyewitness Bobby Arredondo.

Three of the family members could not be saved. The accident claimed the lives of the father, Juan Reynoso, age 34, his six-year-old daughter, Emma Reynoso, and his five-month-old son, Sebastian Reynoso. The unidentified mother and another sibling, nine-year-old Julian Reynoso, both sustained critical injuries.

Early reports after the crash suggested that Jose Garcia also sustained serious injuries.

DUI suspect to appear in court

On Wednesday, May 2, suspected drunk driver Jose Garcia is expected to appear in court. Prosecutors have recommended that bail be set at no less than $6 million. Along with the charges of manslaughter and murder, Garcia faces a charge of driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) causing injury within 10 years of another DUI, and a second charge of driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of another DUI offense. Both are felony offenses.

If convicted of all charges, Garcia would face a possible sentence of 82 years to life in prison.

It’s not known if Garcia will face any other potential legal consequences for another accident he’s alleged to have caused. It took place shortly before the deadly crash at the intersection. A witness who lives just down the street has claimed that Garcia struck her neighbor’s vehicle. “We screamed at him, ‘Hey!’ and he just took off,” said Alma Munoz.

Liability issues in DUI cases

DUI charges are a criminal matter, but suspected drunk drivers may also face civil penalties for their reckless actions. In any DUI case, a victim may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in order to hold him or her liable for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s not necessary for an alleged drunk driver to be convicted in order for the victim to achieve a favorable resolution for the lawsuit. Civil lawsuits have a less strict burden of proof compared to criminal trials.

Car accident lawyers can review your case in Los Angeles, CA

Nothing can truly compensate a family for the loss of a loved one. Here at Ellis Injury Law, our Los Angeles, California car accident attorneys understand how difficult it can be to think clearly in the wake of a tragedy. Unfortunately, time is of the essence when it comes to preserving your family’s legal rights and options. Contact our law firm for a complimentary case consultation. We can help you make an informed decision. Call toll-free at 888-275-3901.

More Resources:

  1. NBC Los Angeles, Driver Suspected of DUI in Crash That Killed Three in South LA, https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Car-Crash-in-South-LA-3-dead-481168431.html
  2. ABC 7, Man suspected of driving drunk charged with murder in fiery Vermont Knolls crash, http://abc7.com/man-30-charged-with-murder-in-fiery-vermont-knolls-crash/3416325/

LAPD Officer Charged with Murder in Fatal DUI Crash

firefighter with car accident victim

A deadly crash in 2017 on the 605 Freeway in Whittier has led to the arrest of an off-duty LAPD officer. The officer, 27-year-old Edgar Omar Verduzco, of Santa Ana, was charged with three counts each of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, as well as drunk driving causing injury. He has also been discharged from his duty as an officer.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WERE INVOLVED IN THE WHITTIER ACCIDENT INVOLVING OFFICER VERDUZCO, CONTACT ELLIS INJURY LAW TOLL FREE AT 1-800-INJURED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS – SCHEDULE YOUR FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION WITH AN EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY AT OUR FIRM.

Speed and alcohol believed to be factors

The crash took place last year on September 26, around 10:15 p.m. Verduzco was driving a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, headed southbound on the 605 in the carpool lane at an excessive speed. He had reportedly posted a video from a bar to his social media account just hours before the crash and CHP officers at the scene determined he was intoxicated based on field sobriety tests.

At the time of the accident, in the lane ahead of Verduzco, a 2014 Nissan was carrying three members of a family from Riverside – 52-year-old Maribel Davila, her 60-year-old husband Mario, and their 19-year-old son Oscar. A 2010 Scion driven by 32-year-old Berly Alvarado of Wilmington, accompanied by her 1-year-old son, was also traveling in the lane.

Three family members killed in DUI crash

According to investigators, while Verduzco was speeding, he struck the Nissan carrying the Davila family and their vehicle was launched toward the freeway divider wall where it caught fire. Verduzco’s vehicle then struck the Alvarado vehicle.

The Verduzco and the Alvarados were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries but all three members of the Davila family were killed in the crash. According to a fundraising site, the Davilas were actively involved in their community and left behind four other children.

This crash illustrates the serious consequences of drunk driving. Though arrests for DUI have steadily declined, the proportion of fatal crashes involving alcohol have increased to nearly 40%.

The law allows victims – both those personally involved in the crashes and the loved ones left behind because of a fatal DUI crash – to hold the driver and/or the establishment that served him or her alcohol responsible.

We help victims of DUI accidents in California

A DUI accident can leave a wake of immediate and long-term injuries and losses. The impact of the sudden death of a loved one is life-altering in itself but it also carries lasting effects like loss of the individual’s emotional and financial support. Physical injuries can cause instant disabilities and impairments but an inability to work during recover can cause a pile-up of crushing medical bills.

The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have secured millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of clients throughout Southern California. Call 1-800-INJURED today to find out how we can help you.

Additional Resources on the Whittier DUI Crash:

1. ABC7, LAPD officer charged in suspected DUI crash that killed 3 on 605 Freeway, http://abc7.com/lapd-officer-charged-in-suspected-dui-crash-that-killed-3/3370744/
2. LA Times, LAPD officer arrested on 3 counts of murder in suspected DUI crash in Whittier, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-verduzco-arrest-20180420-story.html

Car Crash Involving Actor Will Ferrell Leaves 2 Hospitalized

Will Ferrell

Actor Will Ferrell and three others traveling with him were struck on a California freeway by another vehicle. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported. The actor, age 50, had been hosting a voter registration event in San Diego on Thursday, April 12. Ferrell was on his way back to Los Angeles that evening with three of his colleagues when another driver sideswiped their SUV, causing it to swerve into the center divider median, and subsequently overturn.

[Photo by Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

Few details about the crash are known

Ferrell was a passenger in the SUV, along with colleagues Andrew Steele and Carolina Barlow. The SUV was driven by Mark Thompson, who is Ferrell’s longtime driver. As of Saturday, Thompson and Barlow remained hospitalized in stable condition. Their injuries were not disclosed, but Barlow was initially said to be in critical condition. The 27-year-old woman was reportedly not wearing her seatbelt.

United Talent Agency, which represents the actor, released a statement that noted that Ferrell is, “staying close by as his friends are being treated, and has expressed his deep gratitude to the first responders who were immediately at the scene and to the hospital team that took such great care of them.” Ferrell and Steele were evaluated by paramedics at the scene, and taken to an Orange County hospital, but both are said to be largely unhurt.

Driver fatigue said to be a factor in the crash

The rollover crash happened at around 11 p.m. on Interstate 5 near Aliso Viejo. Ferrell’s SUV had been traveling northbound in the carpool lane, not far from La Paz Road. The driver of the other vehicle, a Toyota, had reportedly fallen asleep at the wheel. That’s according to California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Rafael Reynoso. The identification of the driver has not been released, and it’s unknown whether the driver was taken into custody or charged with any crime.

Along with distracted driving and drunk driving, drowsy driving is a major cause of motor vehicular accidents. When litigating lawsuits that involve drowsy driving crashes, personal injury lawyers may argue that a sleepy driver failed to exercise reasonable care toward protecting the safety of others on the road.

How our car accident lawyers can help

Anyone who has suffered injuries or other losses due to the negligence of another driver may be entitled to financial compensation. The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have earned a reputation for providing effective, vigorous legal advocacy services throughout southern California. We’ve secured millions on behalf of our injured clients. Will you become our next success story? Call us today at 1-800-INJURED to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation case review.

Additional Will Ferrell Car Crash Resources:

  1. CNN, Will Ferrell unhurt, feeling ‘grateful’ after car accident, https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/entertainment/will-ferrell-accident/index.html
  2. USA Today, Will Ferrell is unhurt, ‘grateful,’ following serious car crash, https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/04/13/ferrell-accident-car-crash/514611002/

Tragic Drunk Driving Crash Kills 3 Teens in Huntington Beach

Destroyed windshield and front part of car after accident.

A spring break trip ended in tragedy when an allegedly drunk driver rear-ended the car of the vacationing teenagers. The crash happened at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, March 29 at an intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. Three of the teens, who were visiting California from Las Vegas, lost their lives in the fiery crash. Only one managed to escape.

Hundreds gathered during a vigil

Family and friends of the deceased children, as well as countless community members gathered together shortly after news of the crash spread. The vigil was held at Knickerbocker Park in Las Vegas in memory of the deceased teens, who were identified as Dylan Mack, A.J. Rossi, and Brooke Hawley. All three were students at Centennial High School. The surviving student was identified as Alexis Vargas, who suffered severe injuries including a concussion.

One at a time, family members and friends took their place at a microphone to share memories of their lost loved ones, who had been mere months away from graduation. Many of them urged the listening public to think twice before getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Allegedly drunk driver arrested

According to preliminary reports, the driver of a Hyundai Sonata was traveling north on the PCH when it struck the teens’ Toyota. At the time, the Toyota had been stopped at a red light at the intersection with Magnolia Street. The impact pushed the Toyota into the intersection, and the car caught fire.

The driver of the Hyundai Sonata was identified as 27-year-old Bani Duarte, a receptionist who lives in San Clemente. Duarte was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing injury.

DUI-related crashes and liability issues involved

Car accidents caused by intoxicated drivers can lead to both criminal charges and civil liability. Convicted drunk drivers are subject to harsh legal penalties, which may include jail time, fines, mandatory alcohol use disorder evaluation and education, and the loss of driving privileges. But they can also be sued by their injured victims or by their victims’ surviving loved ones. Any civil lawsuit filed against drunk drivers will proceed completely independent of the criminal case.

It is not necessary for a drunk driver to be convicted on criminal charges in order to be found liable in a civil lawsuit. In fact, civil lawsuits have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases. If the drunk driver is convicted, however, this can go a long way toward definitively establishing civil liability.

The legal advocacy you need with the compassionate approach you deserve

The irresponsible and reckless actions of one drunk driver can have devastating consequences on families. At Ellis Law, we are privileged to represent the surviving family members of individuals killed in drunk driving accidents in the greater Los Angeles area. Our award-winning personal injury law firm has recovered millions in compensation for our clients over the years. You can request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer by calling 888-538-1146.

Additional resources on tragic Huntington Beach crash:

  1. Los Angeles Times, 3 Las Vegas teens killed in fiery crash in Huntington Beach are identified, http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-dui-crash-update-20180402-story.html
  2. The Mercury News, Alleged drunk driver in California beach town kills teens on spring break, https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/03/30/3-las-vegas-teens-killed-in-crash-in-southern-california/