Suspected DUI Crash Kills Young Girl in South L.A.
Tragedy struck a South L.A. neighborhood on Sunday night when a woman who is now suspected of driving while intoxicated crashed her vehicle into a house, killing her 7-year-old daughter and critically injuring her three young sons. The incident happened as Erica Lynn Naranjo, 36, traveled south on McKinley Avenue and lost control of her car, slamming it into a residence on 93rd street that afternoon.
Police officials reported that the driver of the vehicle was transporting her four children, with the youngest being an 18-month old boy, in vehicle which violently collided with a brick wall. The young girl died of injuries sustained in the impact, and the boys were immediately taken to the hospital with critical injuries. None of the youngsters were restrained with seat belts at the time of the crash, something which LAPD responders suggested would likely have made a difference in the outcome. It appears that the youngest child had been placed in a safety seat, but had not been strapped into it.
DUI accident kills child in LA
Fire Department responders indicated that the driver was initially trapped within the vehicle wreckage, while the children were found in various places on the lawn of the home. The young girl was pronounced dead at the scene, and the remaining occupants of the car, including the driver, were hospitalized in critical condition.
Naranjo has since been released from the hospital and subsequently taken to county jail on suspicion of committing vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol, with bail set at $100,000. According to records from the Department of Motor Vehicles, her operator’s license expired in May of this year.
Legal recourse for victims of driver negligence
When events such as this one result in profound harm and even death, it is important for those affected to realize that they may be able to pursue significant compensation from the driver of the vehicle in which the victim was a passenger. Each and every person who gets behind the wheel owes passengers and other motorists duties of care and caution, and if they fail in those duties and drive in a negligent manner or while under the influence of alcohol, those who sustain losses as a result have a right to seek justice.
Though motorists found guilty of criminal negligence while driving may have substantial sanctions imposed by the courts, including the obligation to pay monetary restitution to victims, such penalties are often grossly insufficient when it comes to truly compensating the individuals harmed.
When this is the case, individuals and families of those killed in vehicle crashes caused by such behavior need to consider all of their legal options. A personal injury or wrongful death suit may recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages and future loss of earnings, pain and suffering, as well as other categories of loss.
When it comes to pursuing accountability and compensation following a serious auto accident, time truly is of the essence. Taking decisive action and enlisting experienced legal representation as soon as possible after the event itself can greatly enhance victims’ chances of financial recovery. Driver negligence, including driving while under the influence of intoxicants, must never be allowed to go unchecked, and those harmed by such actions deserve to have an aggressive advocate on their side.
If you or someone you love have sustained substantial harm due to the negligent acts or omissions of another driver, a personal injury lawyer at Ellis Law stands ready to review the facts of your case and work hard to secure every available dollar of compensation.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 310-641-3335.