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Police Say Drunk Driver Responsible for Deadly Crash

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

A California Highway Patrol representative says that alcohol consumption likely contributed to a deadly three-vehicle pileup in Orange County on the morning of Aug. 15. The accident claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl and left her 13-year-old sister critically injured. The drivers of two of the vehicles involved were also hurt in the crash. The accident took place on the northbound lanes of Interstate 405 in Seal Beach at approximately 7:15 a.m.

The accident was caused by the driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV who swerved without warning into one of the two carpool lanes. The Tahoe then struck the rear of a Tesla Model S at considerable speed. The Tesla then struck the rear of a Honda sedan. CHP officers arriving at the scene quickly determined that the man behind the wheel of the Chevrolet may have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

Firefighter used cutting equipment to free the two girls trapped in the back of the badly damaged Tesla, and they were eventually extracted through the vehicle's front passenger door. The 7-year-old was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital in Long Beach, and her sister was listed in critical condition after being taken to the same facility. The nature of the injuries suffered by the drivers of the Tesla and Chevrolet were not disclosed in initial reports.

Thousands of California residents are killed or injured by drunk drivers each year. Personal injury attorneys seeking compensation for the victims of these types of accidents may rely on police reports and the results of breath or blood tests to establish negligence in car accident lawsuits, and they may file this kind of litigation against the insurance companies or estates of intoxicated drivers who are incarcerated or killed.