San Diego News 8 reported that an unidentified woman passenger in a Hyundai Sonata was fatally injured on October 8, 2011. The tragic auto accident happened at around 2:30 a.m. on state Route 78 and Bear Valley Parkway in Escondido, when 21-year-old Joshua Goldbaum of Escondido collided into a Ford Aerostar van. One of Goldbaum’s passengers died, another was injured as well as the driver of the van. The passenger in the van, who sustained major injuries is expected to survive. According to CHP Officer Bettencourt, Goldbaum who fled the scene, was later arrested and taken to the Vista jail and faces numerous felony charges for hit-and-run, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Our condolences go out to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives
Applicable California Law
Goldbaum will face felony criminal charges for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of the accident (see my prior Blog post San Diego Hit-And-Run Auto Accident Causes Severe Brain Injury for California hit-and-run and DUI Law). In addition, Goldbaum and the owner of his vehicle will be liable for any property that was damaged as well as the wrongful death of the victims and those who sustained personal injury (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Killed by Auto Accident Debris for California law on Wrongful Death and “survivor actions”). However, if the passengers in the Goldbaum vehicle knew he was intoxicated and chose to ride in his vehicle, there will be allegations of comparative fault, which will affect the value of any claims made by them or their heirs. As always vehicular accidents involving fatalities, serious injuries, and multiple claimants raises issues as to the adequacy of insurance coverage or other assets of those responsible (see my prior Blog post Uninsured / Under-insured Auto and General Accident Guide on California insurance coverage).
Young adult drivers pose some of the highest risk to themselves and others on the road. They often ignore the risks of driving recklessly and or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bike accidents resulting in wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. When the impact of a serious injury or the loss of a loved one touches your life, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.