A 28-year-old Union City man may have been impaired when he crashed a powerful sports car during a test drive on Feb. 23. The crash took the life of a car dealership salesman. The driver was charged with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter following the fatal San Bernardino County crash, and he was transported to an area detention facility after samples were collected for toxicology testing.
According to police reports, the man was test driving a Chevrolet Corvette on Mercedes Lane in Ontario at approximately 12:45 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. Witnesses are said to have told responding police officers that the sports car had been traveling at speeds of up to 70 mph in the moments leading up to the crash.
Emergency medical services personnel arriving at the car accident scene quickly realized that the Corvette's passenger had been badly hurt. The 43-year-old man was rushed to San Antonio Community Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly after being admitted.
Questions of liability often come up in cases involving the passengers of intoxicated drivers. Tort laws in California follow the doctrine of comparative negligence, and defendants in these types of cases may argue that getting into a motor vehicle with an impaired individual at the wheel signals an assumption of certain risks. Personal injury attorneys advocating on behalf of accident victims may counter this strategy by introducing evidence indicating that the defendant failed to disclose that they had been drinking or taking drugs and appeared to be unimpaired. This evidence could include the corroborating testimony of witnesses or footage of the defendant captured by security cameras in the area.