Drunk or drugged driving, or perhaps both, has claimed another life in California today — only this victim wasn’t even in a car.
The woman, aged 54, who regularly walked to her nearby work location with Walt Disney, was using a crosswalk at an intersection when the drunk driver hit her.
After the car slammed into the pedestrian, it careened into three other nearby vehicles. The pedestrian was the only individual who was seriously wounded, however. A local hospital pronounced her dead on arrival.
Both of the car’s occupants seemed to be either drunk, high or both, so a drug influence evaluation (DIE) was done. DIEs are performed by special officers who are trained as drug recognition experts — they can often tell when drugs are a factor in an accident and their testimony is often invaluable later if the case goes to court. Sometimes their testimony helps back up the physical evidence of drug use that’s obtained, like blood samples, and sometimes it has to stand in place of physical evidence when there wasn’t any way to get a blood test.
The driver of the car that killed the pedestrian was arrested for vehicular manslaughter with intoxication as a factor. His passenger, who couldn’t be held legally responsible since he wasn’t behind the wheel, was released.
Accidents like this happen all-too-often throughout the country. Sometimes drugs and alcohol are involved, but pedestrians can be victimized simply by inattentive or distracted drivers as well. Even staying in the relative safety of a crosswalk and obeying traffic signals is no guarantee of safety if a driver isn’t paying attention.
Pedestrians can try to reduce their chances of being in an accident in several ways:
- Wear or carry something reflective or bright, even in daylight
- Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in areas not designed for foot traffic
- Always wait for the signal to cross a street and make sure that traffic is stopped before you step off the curb
- Whenever possible, cross in a group — a single pedestrian is more likely to go unnoticed than a whole group of walkers, so there is safety in numbers.
Anyone who has lost a close relative to a drunken, drugged or distracted driver should consult with an attorney about the possibility of a lawsuit.
Source: North Hollywood Patch, “Walt Disney Studio Worker Killed Walking To Work In Suspected DUI,” Sep. 07, 2017