Thursday, June 21, 2012

Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Chain Accident that Claimed Life of Motorcyclist

On Tuesday, a Laguna Beach woman pleaded not guilty before the Orange County Superior Court after she was accused of driving under the influence and caused the chain accident that claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

According to reports, 27-year-old Leslie Juarez is more likely to face 13 years of state imprisonment if convicted.

Last June 5, Juarez was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while impaired, driving under the influence causing personal injury, and driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than the legal limit causing personal injury or death to more than one victim.

The legal limit of blood-alcohol level varies according to states, but in most states, the legal limit of blood-alcohol level is 0.08.

Accordingly, Juarez’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.23 about a couple of hours after the accident. It was actually three times the legal limit, according to Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida.

According to prosecutors, Juarez was speeding along southbound in her 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse on the I-405 near San Canyon at around 11:30 p.m. last March 29 when she swerved into another lane. As a result of which, her vehicle crashed into a 2006 Nissan Sentra that was driven by 21-year-old Joelle Friedlander.

Consequently, Friedlander lost control of her vehicle and swerved over the center divider then came to a stop in the northbound carpool lanes. Witnesses said that Friedlander managed to get out of the car and run to the center median before a northbound 1991 Suzuki motorcycle slammed into her vehicle and caused another accident.

The driver of the said motorcycle was identified as 32-year-old J.C. Droege. Droege was thrown from his big bike and was declared dead right at the accident scene due to multiple injuries. Meanwhile, Friedlander was taken to the nearest hospital for treatment of his fractured ankle and other personal injuries.

Prosecutors added that when California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the scene, Juarez demonstrated signs of intoxication, which included having alcohol in her breath, slurred speech, and unsteady balance.

Juarez is next scheduled to appear in court on July 24 for a pretrial hearing.

Even though motorcyclists wear protective gears around them, during an accident, the severity of the injury still lies on how physics favors them the moment that the collision occurs.

In such motorcycle accident deaths, a Los Angeles motorcycle attorney can help the families of the decedents in assessing a claim particularly within Los Angeles area.