A 19-year-old driver is suspected of drunk driving after his teenaged passenger was killed in a tragic rollover car accident. The wreck, which happened during the early morning hours near Irvine, California, occurred when the driver reportedly swerved to avoid striking an animal in the road. The 16-year-old decedent was ejected from the vehicle, and the three other occupants of the pickup truck were hospitalized with traumatic injuries.
Authorities report that the young woman was not even supposed to have been in the vehicle with her friends that night. She had attempted to call someone else to pick her up, but her phone lost battery charge. The young woman was slated to begin classes as a junior at Irvine High School.
The driver in this case will be charged with felony DUI when he is released from the hospital. He is also facing charges of felony vehicular manslaughter, according to official reports. The young woman in this case put her life in the hands of the driver, and he was so irresponsible that he got behind the wheel while intoxicated. In addition, beer cans were found at the scene, indicating that the driver may have been drinking at the same time he was driving. This young man was not only drinking underage, but he was also so intoxicated that he injured two of his friends and killed a young woman in the crash. He deserves punishment in the form of criminal and civil sanctions. Drivers who take such little regard for their passengers' safety should be prosecuted and kept off the roads.
This is the second fatal crash to involve multiple Irvine High School students this year. In May, another group of young people died when their vehicle smashed into a tree and caught fire. Counselors were on hand for that event, as well.
www.nbclosangeles.com, "DUI charges in fatal crash that killed Irvine HS student" Christina Cocca & Vikki Vargas, Sep. 10, 2013