Palmdale, CA- A 16 year-old girl was killed early Sunday morning when a suspected drunken driver plowed into her bedroom.
The incident occurred at 3:50 a.m. and was discovered when a police officer on patrol noticed a van embedded inside an apartment in Palmdale. Residents of the apartment complex had detained the driver and informed the officer that someone could have been in the room when the crash occurred, according to the Los Angeles Times. Witnesses said the driver lived across the street from where the accident occurred.
The officer could not get into the room at first but firefighters who were called to the scene were able to gain entry and found the victim inside. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
“The driver was at a high rate of speed and either tried to turn or lost control, impacted the curb and went into the apartment building,” Sergeant David Sauer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told News 7.
The Los Angeles County Coroner identified the victim as 16 year-old Giselle Mendoza.
Police suspected that the driver, 20 year-old Roberto Rodriquez, was intoxicated at the time of the crash and are waiting for the results of a toxicology test. He is currently being charged with suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, but his charges could change once police receive the results of the chemical test.
Rodriquez also sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a local hospital or treatment.
Several of the units adjacent to the damaged apartment had to be evacuated so building inspectors could determine if it is structurally sound.
Causing a fatal or injurious accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense and it is treated as such by the courts. If convicted of causing a drunken driving accident, the accused will likely be facing a jail sentence, but that isn’t the only consequences of causing a drunk driving accident. The accused will also have to pay costly fines, lose their driving privileges and have a criminal record. The convicted offender may also be required to pay restitution to their victims.
Even though their actions may be egregious, a suspected intoxicated driver deserves to defend themselves on court. Every drunken driver whether they were involved in an accident or not needs the help of an accident attorney to provide an effective defense. With an effective defense, the accused may be able to negotiate for a plea bargain which can result in reduced charges or lenient sentencing.
Choosing the right DUI attorney is very important to any person facing an intoxicated driving charge, but it is the most important decision they will have to make. The right DUI attorney will be well-versed in the states DUI laws and have an understanding of the consequences of a guilty plea. Each case is different and an attorney carefully examines all the mitigating circumstances of their client’s case in order to assure the best outcome.