Union Tribune Pauline Repard reported that DUI arrest in San Diego County and statewide improved compared to a year ago. Drivers arrested for drunk driving and fatalities during the New Year’s weekend were substantially less than last year, most likely due to the fact that it lasted for three days this year as compared to four a year ago. CHP officer, Jesse Udovic said that there were 60 arrests and one fatality in San Diego over the holiday weekend in sharp contrast to last year when there were 101 DUI arrests and three fatalities. Statewide statistics were equally dramatic with 961 drunk driving arrests and 25 DUI related deaths compared to 1388 arrests and 36 deaths a year ago.
One of the fatalities on New Year’s eve happened when Kelly McPherson, 53, of Mission Valley was fatally injured when he tried to walk across Murray Drive in La Mesa at around 1:30 a.m. on January 1, 2011. The driver of the vehicle that hit him, 48-year-old Dana Lohner, was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Our sympathy goes out to the McPherson family and friends.
Applicable California Law
Lohner will face felony criminal charges for driving under the influence and causing death or injury (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Arrested For Fatal Coronado Traffic Accident for California DUI Law). In addition, McPherson’s heirs will have wrongful death claims against Lohner (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Killed by Auto Accident Debris on California Wrongful Death Law). Furthermore, Lohner could face additional claims for punitive damages for her reckless conduct of driving while intoxicated (see my prior Blog post Justice For Family Of Nursing Home Abuse Victim on California Punitive Damage Law).
The new year started out on a positive trend; however, it was still tainted by tragedy. Wrongful death or serious injuries caused by auto accidents or truck accidents involving pedestrians are catastrophic. The counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is critical to obtaining justice.