On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, an Oceanside family suffered a terrible tragedy when their Mazda was struck by a Toyota Tacoma. Around 1:00 p.m., the family members were driving together on the S. Coast Highway. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma ran a red light, smashing into the Mazda. The horrific car accident resulted in the wrongful deaths of Rufina Rodriguez, 74, Petra Arango, 40, and 56-year-old Eloina Arango—a mother and her two daughters.
The other family members in the Mazda included the family father and son-in-law who were sitting in the front seat and sustained serious injuries in the accident. The last passenger, a 13-year-old granddaughter, was ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured. These surviving passengers were rushed to the hospital for their injuries.
Perhaps the most tragic part of this story, is that this accident could have totally been avoided. The driver of the Tacoma, identified as 19-year-old Mason Fish, was driving under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the accident. Additionally, ABC 10 News reported that “according to DMV records, Fish’s driver’s license was listed as suspended or revoked on Jan. 26, 2019. Records also showed Fish had been involved in three prior crashes on Dec. 23, 2017; Jan. 25, 2018; and Sept. 5, 2018.”
Because of Mr. Fish’s careless choice to drive while under the influence and with a suspended license, an entire family suffered. The family has created a fundraiser through GoFundMe to help pay for the final expenses as they had to say goodbye to three family members so unexpectedly. Many families have turned to this method after a tragedy has occurred to help them to handle the financial burden that can happen in these instances. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Southern California car accident, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney, because there are likely other options for financial recovery after an accident.
In a situation like this, when it is determined a car accident was caused by a driver’s carelessness or negligence, that driver will be financially liable for the harm he caused to others which is usually paid out by the driver’s insurance. This liability is separate from any criminal charges a driver may be facing for driving under the influence. In this case, the family members of the victims can bring wrongful death claims against Mr. Fish. For the three injured passengers, they can bring a California personal injury claim against the driver. The purpose of a wrongful death or personal injury claim is to recover financially for the damages suffered in an accident. Financial recovery obtained in a wrongful death suit can help the family members with unexpected funeral and burial expenses as well as other expenses such as loss of earnings. Financial recovery from a personal injury claim with help cover expensive hospital stays, medical bills, and other physical recovery expenses.
The experienced wrongful death and personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch help victims of car accidents and their families all over California. We can be reached at 1-866-INJURY2 [1-866-465-8792] any time for a free consultation. Our sincerest condolences go out to the Arango family.