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California woman faces manslaughter, DUI charges for fatal crash

Many people may recall hearing about a tragic alleged drunk driving accident that occurred near Alpine last summer. The chain-reaction collision took place June 11, 2012, in the early morning hours when a woman lost control of her Toyota Yaris on Interstate 8 and drove up an embankment, ultimately rolling onto the left-hand lane. Soon after this, a man pulled over and got out of his vehicle to check on the woman and call the police. A woman driving an Audi then crashed into the Toyota and the man.

Both the driver of the Toyota and the Good Samaritan died at the scene of the accident. The woman behind the wheel of the Audi was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, and a judge ruled this week that she must face a trial for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated as well as DUI resulting in death.

The woman's blood-alcohol content was reportedly measured at almost twice the legal limit at 0.15 percent after the crash.

If she is convicted of the charges, she could be sentenced to prison for up to 14 years.

Whether or not she is convicted, she may also face wrongful death lawsuits. The loved ones of victims of drunk driving accidents have the right to sue drunk drivers for wrongful death. This can result in compensation for funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred before death, lost source of income and pain and suffering, among other things.

Wrongful death actions are sometimes complicated after chain-reaction collisions, because there may be multiple parties whose negligence led to a wrongful death. The loved ones of victims of drunk drivers should seek legal counsel in order to pursue justice and learn about their rights.

Source: CBS8.com, "Judge orders trial for woman accused in fatal DUI crash," Aug. 27, 2013

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