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Drunk driver causes head-on collision, 3 hospitalized

Two weeks ago a suspected drunk driver in Country Estates crossed over into the wrong lane, causing a head-on collision with an oncoming car driven by a father taking his eight- year-old daughter home from soccer practice.

The car accident occurred around 8 p.m. on a Thursday night, when the suspected drunk driver's pickup truck crossed a double-yellow line into oncoming traffic. The pickup collided with an oncoming Hyundai traveling eastbound on Ramona Oaks Road. The two occupants of the Hyundai, the father and his young daughter, suffered serious injuries and were evacuated by helicopter to area hospitals.

Responding officers said the pickup's driver appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol, leading police to believe the man was driving drunk. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

This accident is horrifying for anyone who regularly operates a vehicle in the San Diego area. Responsible drivers should not have to share the road with potentially dangerous motorists, who, as this story shows, can inflict life-altering destruction on hapless commuters any time they get behind the wheel.

In a case like this, a drunk driver could be charged with driving under the influence, as well as other crimes and traffic infractions. But regardless of any criminal penalties imposed on an at-fault driver, accident victims may be able to sue for negligence. When a car crosses into the wrong lane and causes a collision, absent highly unusual circumstances, the veering driver is at fault. In such a case, victims or their families may be able to collect monetary damages including medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Source: Ramona Patch, "3 Injured, Including 8-Year-Old Girl, in Possible DUI Crash in Country Estates," Ken Stone, Sept. 27, 2012

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