San Diego News 10 reported that five people were injured because of an auto accident resulting from a high speed chase with police on February 4, 2011. The chase started at around 9 p.m. on Highway 163 when a CHP officer tried to pull over a speeding vehicle whose driver refused to stop. The pursuit continued through downtown when, at Sixth Avenue and A Street, the fleeing vehicle hit another vehicle, which was occupied by a couple and their young daughter. “It was definitely a violent collision” said San Diego police Sgt. James Reschke. “He was doing some serious speed.” According to witness Eric Moore, “When I looked in my rearview mirror… I saw a car flipping over.” Multiple officers attempted to restrain the driver of the fleeing vehicle, who kicked out a patrol car’s window. “He was high on something: alcohol or drugs or both,” said Reschke. The intoxicated driver, his passenger, and the occupants of the other vehicle were all injured and taken to local hospitals for treatment. Subsequently, the reckless driver and his passenger were both arrested for speeding and other violations.
Applicable California Law
The driver of the fleeing vehicle will face potential criminal charges for violation of Penal Code 148 resisting or avoiding arrest, Vehicle Code 22350 California’s speed law and DUI (see my prior Blog post on California’s DUI Law) to name a few. In addition, he will face civil liability for any property that was damaged as well as for the personal injuries he caused. Furthermore, he could face potential claims for punitive damages for gross negligence (see my prior Blog post for the law on Punitive Damages). If the passengers of his vehicle pursues any claims, they could be reduced to the extent that their conduct contributed to their own injuries.