Irvine Car Accident Leaves Girl with Irreversible Brain Damage

Ashton Sweet, a 14 year old girl, was left with brain damage after the vehicle she was in was struck by a drunk driver in an Irvine car accident. Doctors have declared that the brain damage is irreversible and Sweet is being kept alive while doctors determine if her organs are suitable for donation. Other girls in the vehicle suffered injuries, including Krista Merassa, 15 years old, who suffered serious or catastrophic injuries, and was listed in critical condition.

The girls were passengers in a car driven by one of the girl’s father, when they were struck by the alleged drunk driver, Austin Farley, a 26 year old Irvine man. Farley was arrested on suspicion of DUI and is awaiting his court appearance. Farley and the passenger in his vehicle were not injured in the car accident in Irvine.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Farley pled guilty to DUI in 2009 and also pled guilty to driving with a suspended or revoked license and refusal to take a chemical test for DUI in 2005.

In addition to the serious criminal charges that Farley will be facing, he will also likely be held liable for Irvine wrongful death damages, for the tragic eventual death of Ashton Sweet.


Investigators will have to determine what type of insurance Farley had on his vehicle as well as what the insurance policy limits are and what assets he owns, as the victims of this car accident in Irvine will be entitled to recover from all of those sources.

In addition, the driver of the vehicle hit by the drunk driver, or the families of some of the girls, may have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage, which can take the place of Farley’s coverage, for any excess amounts or if Farley did not have insurance. For this reason, it is always advisable to make sure that you have enough Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage when driving in California.

Our wrongful death lawyers have been handling wrongful death and serious injury claims for over 30 years. If your loved one has been killed or seriously injured in an accident, call our office now for a free consultation.

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