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Boyle Heights: Drunk Driver Struck, Killed Claudia Fernandez and Marlene Alatorre While Evading CHP

Posted on Jun 18, 2012

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th, a suspected drunk driver struck and killed pedestrians Claudia Fernandez, 38, and Marlene Alatorre, 19, while evading California Highway Patrol officers in Boyle Heights. The pursuit began when CHP officers observed a 2005 Toyota Camry weaving on the 10 Freeway and attempted to pull over the driver, 37-year-old Elba Jimenez. Rather than cooperate with authorities, Jimenez transitioned onto the 5 Freeway, sped down an off ramp, and ran a red light before slamming into a group of people gathered around a taco truck. In addition to fatally injuring Alatorre and Fernandez, Jimenez also injured at least two other people. Authorities arrested her on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence. 


“Drivers who cause serious or fatal trauma to others while violating the law often face both criminal charges from the state and civil lawsuits from the victims or their families,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis. 


In the United States, one person is killed in an alcohol-related traffic accident every 48 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such accidents claimed the lives of 10,839 people in 2009, accounting for 32 percent of all traffic fatalities. That year, 924 people in California were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. 


All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the families of Claudia Fernandez and Marlene Alatorre, the two women the suspected drunk driver struck and killed on Saturday night.


The Los Angeles Times originally reported this Boyle Heights crash.


Resources for accident victims and their families, including books and articles on the process of pursuing an injury or a wrongful death claim, are available to the public free of charge.


If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California personal injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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