The Santa Ana Police Department is looking for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a man on Sunday. The Santa Ana pedestrian accident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning on W. 1st Street. According to KTLA5 News, witnesses reported seeing a newer blue Honda Accord (approximately 2013-2015), with tinted windows, that apparently sped up after the accident.
The victim of this Santa Ana accident was Jorge Luis Lopez-Lobato, who was found on the center median. He was 35 years old and rescuers were not able to do anything to revive him. The investigating police offer said that Mr. Lobato was not in a crosswalk and was crossing near the middle of the block. The officer pointed out that if the driver of the vehicle had stopped, there may be no criminal charges for the accident.
However, because the driver of this car fled the scene, there will potentially be vehicular manslaughter charges if and when the driver is located by police. Police also said that the vehicle’s driver’s side mirror was knocked off and there should be damage to the front of the car from the impact.
If anyone has any information about this accident, they should call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
As a California personal injury lawyer, I am inclined to think about what may have caused the driver not to stop after colliding with the pedestrian. One reason may just be fear of the unknown. However, due to the time of the accident, there is a high probability that the driver of the vehicle was driving while intoxicated. Its possible that Mr. Lobato was acting reasonably when he was crossing the street and would not have been hit had the driver been obeying traffic laws.
If the driver is located, a Santa Ana wrongful death claim may be brought against the driver and owner of the vehicle. If the driver and car are not located, Mr. Lobato’s heirs would have to make an uninsured motorist claim, if there is an uninsured motorist policy that will cover Mr. Lobato. If Mr. Lobato has his own auto insurance with uninsured motorist coverage, that coverage should apply and would be the first source of recovery as of now for the heirs.
Mr. Lobato’s heirs should contact a Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer to investigate this matter and see if there can be any financial recovery for the wrongful death. Our California wrongful death lawyers handle Santa Ana wrongful death cases and recently settled a Santa Ana pedestrian accident wrongful death claim for over $1,000,000.00.