At about 12:30 a.m. on Monday, December 30, 19-year-old Jennifer Benga, of Northridge, was killed in a DUI crash in North Hills, reported the Los Angeles Times. Benga was a passenger in a 2009 gold Ford Taurus that was speeding westbound on Roscoe Boulevard before the driver lost control and crashed into a light pole near Hayvenhurst Avenue. She was declared dead at the scene. Investigators found beer bottles inside the vehicle and suspect that the 24-year-old male driver, who sustained major trauma in the crash, was under the influence.
Nationwide, the incidence of traffic fatalities involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent, claiming 10,322 lives in 2012 compared to 9,865 in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In many cases, the victims are not the drivers: 3,371 people killed in DUI crashes in 2011 were not the drunk driver. Passengers accounted for 1,612 of the fatalities, 91 of whom were children under the age of 15 years old; 1,049 of the victims were occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crashes; and 710 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
In California, when an individual fatally harms others while driving under the influence, he or she may be held criminally and civilly liable. For more information on the legal recourse available to the families of the victims of fatal accidents, please call 866-981-5596 or contact us online.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Jennifer Benga.
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