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Riverside: Drunk Driver Struck, Killed Pedestrian Michael Manuel


Shortly before 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, a drunk driver struck and killed 43-year-old pedestrian Michael Manuel in Riverside. While traveling on Crest Avenue, 18-year-old Joel Guzman-Mena hit Manuel, who was walking south along a sidewalk, with his 1995 Mitsubishi pickup truck. Manuel was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities arrested Guzman-Mena on suspicion of drunk driving and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The pedestrian accident is under investigation.

“When a motorist causes a death while driving under the influence, he or she may be held civilly liable by the family of the victim,” explained California pedestrian accident lawyer< James Ballidis. "In many cases, the family will file a wrongful death claim in order to be compensated for their loss."

The city of Riverside accounted for 5 of the 31 fatalities and 65 of the 370 injuries suffered by pedestrians in traffic accidents that occurred in the county in 2010, according to the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. From 2000 to 2009, traffic accidents claimed the lives of more than 47,700 pedestrians and injured more than 688,000, according to Transportation for America. In a comparison of the pedestrian safety in the design of the country’s major urban areas, the organization ranked the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area the 5th most dangerous.

All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Michael Manuel, the pedestrian whom the drunk driver struck and killed.

The Press-Enterprise originally reported this Riverside pedestrian accident.

Resources for accident victims and their families, such as books and articles on pedestrian rights and the wrongful death claims process, are available to the public free of charge through our office.

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

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