Twenty-one year old Brittany Schuetz of Santa Ana was found guilty of second-degree murder following a car crash that killed twenty-six year old April Whang in February 2009, according to the Orange County Register. Schuetz was driving with a blood alcohol level of five times the legal limit when she ran a red light at Beach Boulevard and Imperial Highway in La Habra, slamming into Whang’s car as it passed through the intersection on a green light. Schuetz already had a previous drunken driving conviction from 2007. She will receive up to 15 years in prison at her sentencing on April 30.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price expressed relief at the verdict, stating that because Schuetz was a young woman she feared the jury would give her a lesser punishment than she deserved for her actions.
Drunken driving is a serious crime. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident by a drunken driver, please exercise your legal rights and contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about obtaining monetary compensation for your injuries and damages.
A comprehensive examination of car accidents by the Ventura County Star and the Scripps Howard News Service reveals that three factors contribute time and again to traffic fatalities across the country, as well as in Ventura County.
In the Star’s study of 627, 433 nationwide traffic fatalities over a span of 14 years (1994 through 2008), thirty percent of fatal accidents involved drunken drivers. Thirty- two percent involved drivers who were traveling at an unsafe speed. Forty-three percent of traffic fatalities were not wearing seat belts. Further, many accidents involved a combination of two or all three factors. These statistics correspond with the countywide statistics of 1,096 deaths from traffic incidents during the same time period.
According to the article, driving is one of the most dangerous activities of daily living, however, awareness of its inherent risks is low and often ignored. As the number of distracted drivers on the roads continues to rise with the onset of cell phone applications, text messaging, and a culture consumed by busyness and activity, cars and commutes have shifted from simply a means of transportation to extensions of one’s life at the office or home. Distracted drivers will surely factor into future statistics on the primary causes of traffic accidents.
In the midst of overwhelming statistics, please do your part to eliminate car accidents by driving undistracted, wearing a seat belt, and maintaining the speed limit.
Serious car accidents can severely affect a person’s life, through physical injuries, medical expenses, a loss of transportation, and emotional stress. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, exercise your legal rights and call Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys today. If you’ve lost a loved one in a traffic collision, experienced car accident attorneys can help. We will protect your legal rights so that you are free to focus your attention on the grieving process and family. Call today for a free consultation.