Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm recently reported on the dangers of driving during Memorial Day Weekend. Many are calling the southern California wreck that occurred over this 2013 holiday weekend the worst single-car crash in recent memory; five were killed in the wreck, all students at nearby high schools.
The crash occurred on Jaboree Road in Newport Beach, CA, just down the road from the city’s police station. Police state that the driver, a 17-year-old senior at University High School, was speeding in an Infiniti when the car swerved out of control, hitting a tree. The Infiniti split in two in the impact and was engulfed in flames The vehicle was so split, in fact, that emergency responders initially though the crash involved two separate cars.
The driver, along with the four passengers (including two sisters), were all killed. One of the passengers was thrown partway from the Infiniti while the other four were ejected completely from the vehicle. Most of the victims’ bodies were so mangled that police had to use their fingerprints as identification.
Police stated that speed was a factor in the crash, which occurred at the bottom of a steep hill. The victims’ friends told the LA Times that students should take this wreckage as a wake-up call. Newport Beach and the surrounding area have an illustrious history of high-profile crashes related to speeding.
In 2009, less than a mile from this crash site, the co-founder of an apparel company was killed after his Ferrari was hit by a Porsche, causing the Ferrari to strike a light pole and, similarly to the Infiniti, split completely in two. Newport police later estimated the Porsche was traveling around 100 miles per hour.
Just two years ago, in 2011, three people were killed in a crash associated with speeding on West Coast Highway. That crash also involved the death of a high school student. In 1997, a speeding SUV filled with 10 students from Newport Harbor High School hit a median and flipped, killing one passenger and leaving another in a coma.
In related news, motorists in Illinois convicted of DUI who have an ignition interlock system will now also be subjected to camera surveillance. Starting on July 1, 2013, drivers will have their pictures automatically snapped when they attempt to start their cars.
Ignition interlocks have become quite popular in the United States in recent years, with most states adopting the system even for first-time drunken drivers. The interlocks require drivers to breathe into a breathalyzer device before their car is able to start.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White recently noted that the interlock system has one significant flaw: that there is no way to ensure that the person blowing into the device is the driver of the vehicle. Because of this, White recently approved an amendment to the administrative rules so that a camera is now required in all vehicles to record who is blowing into the interlock.
The Illinois director of Mothers against Drunk Driving affirms that there are many people who try to defeat the interlocks by having sober friends blow into the device. Others are saying the new requirement is an impediment on driver privacy, referring to the cameras as Big Brother.
About 11,000 Illinois residents volunteer to have interlocks every year, which allow them to drive after a DUI arrest. The majority of these 11,000 are first-time offenders, and are required to have the interlocks for anywhere between six and 12 months.
Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm hope the new camera system for interlocks will make Illinois roads safer for all drivers. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a crash caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to significant compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.