On Labor Day, a young father went off roading while intoxicated with his toddler in the back seat. The toddler drowned in the off-roading accident that ensued from his risky behavior.
Sometime after sunset on Labor Day, 23-year-old Hunter Kilmer secured his 16-month-old boy in a car seat in the back of his off-road vehicle. Accompanied by a friend, he drove to the Saddle Dike Embankment area south of Apple Valley. He then drove into the entrance of a reservoir, unable to determine the depth of the water in the darkness of night. It was then that his off-road vehicle overturned. While Kilmer and his friend escaped, they were unable to free the toddler and he drowned as a result of the off-roading accident. Kilmer has been arrested
and charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence, reported the Los Angeles Times.
“Off roading is an extremely dangerous activity,” remarked a Riverside injury lawyer. “Operating an off-road vehicle on unpredictable terrain while intoxicated is deadly—and proved to be so in this young man’s case.”
Introduced to the commercial market in the 1990s, the popularity of off-road vehicles quickly grew and, with it, the number of accidents resulting in severe injuries and fatalities, explained a Riverside injury lawyer. Between the years of 2003 and 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recorded 116 fatalities and 153 injuries that resulted from off-road accidents. Just last month, 8 people were killed and 10 seriously injured when an off-road racer accidently landed his jump on top of a crowd of spectators in Johnson Valley—less than 35 miles from Monday’s accident.
Using alcohol or drugs while off-roading compounds the risks of both dangerous activities. Almost 12,000 people were killed in traffic accidents involving alcohol in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately half of the children aged 14 and younger who died in alcohol-related accidents that year were passengers in vehicles operated by impaired drivers.
Unfortunately, this deadly combination resulted in tragedy for the Kilmer family last Monday. The Riverside injury lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer their condolences to the family during this difficult time.
Additional information on off-roading accidents and other subjects related to personal injury law is available to the public free of charge.