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CHP: Drunk driving a factor in fatal California crash

Car accidents can happen at any time in just about any location. Often, they are the result of a simple mistake, such as miscalculating a turn. Some drivers may be distracted by passengers in the car or an attempt to adjust the radio station or temperature of the vehicle. Regardless, when an accident occurs at a certain time of day, it is easy for police officers to make assumptions about drunk driving.

Unfortunately, the 19-year-old who was allegedly driving a vehicle that crashed on a day late June now faces multiple charges. Officials with the California Highway Patrol claim that the car exited the road and rolled multiple times before falling approximately 300 feet into a ravine. Because of the location of the car, rescue workers had to rappel into the ravine multiple times to rescue the occupants.

Two people in the vehicle, a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old, passed away as a result of their injuries. It is unclear if the deaths could have been prevented had the location of the accident not been so difficult to access. The driver, as well as a 16-year-old occupant, suffered moderate injuries while a fifth occupant suffered minor injuries. The driver was recently arrested and faces charges of felony DUI causing injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

If convicted of the drunk driving and other charges, the teenager who was allegedly driving the vehicle could spend more than 18 years in prison. Because of the seriousness of the accusations against him, he may choose to hire an attorney with experience with such cases in California to represent him in court. Regardless of the charges, there must be more than assumptions about an incident to meet the exacting burden of proof required by the court to gain a conviction.

Source:, "Ventura man faces gross vehicular manslaughter charges in fatal Santa Barbara County crash", Aug. 21, 2017

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