Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 10th, a drunk driver caused a crash that seriously injured her two passengers in San Rafael. While speeding eastbound in a 1999 Dodge Intrepid on Point San Pedro Road, 20-year-old Guadalupe Pantoja slammed into the rear of a parked 2004 Porsche Cayenne just east of Summit Avenue, the impact sending the Porsche into a parked 1995 Jaguar sedan, causing the Jaguar to hit a utility trailer. The Dodge proceeded to strike a fence and trees and ignite into flames. A 22-year-old San Rafael man sitting in the front seat exited the vehicle and fell to the ground, having suffered a collapsed lung, dislocated right shoulder, and multiple fractures; the back-seat passenger, a 20-year-old Richmond man, also escaped the burning vehicle after sustaining serious kidney trauma. Pantoja suffered a broken ankle and lacerations to her forehead and leg. They were transported to a nearby hospital, where Pantoja was arrested on suspicion of DUI causing bodily injury, DUI with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater causing bodily harm, and driving without a license.
“When a driver’s violation of safety laws and negligence results in a collision causing injury to his or her passengers or to the occupants of other vehicles, the driver may be legally obligated to compensate the victims for expenses incurred from their medical care and recovery,” explained California personal injury attorney James Ballidis.
San Rafael accounted for none of the 9 fatalities and 333 of the 1,155 injuries suffered by motor vehicle occupants in traffic collisions throughout Marin County in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 5 of the fatal and 91 of the injury accidents that occurred in Marin County that year.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to wish a full recovery to the two passengers who were seriously injured in the crash caused by the drunk driver. We would also like to wish a full recovery to the driver, Guadalupe Pantoja.
KTVU.COM originally reported this San Rafael collision.
Resources for accident victims, such as books and articles on the process of filing a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver for expenses related to the injury, 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 attorney, feel free to call 866-981-5596.