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South Gate: Street Racing Driver Killed Woman, Injured Five Others


Shortly after midnight on Saturday, May 25, a street racing driver killed one woman and injured five other people in South Gate. While traveling in a 2003 Acura, Michael Villalobos ran a stop light at the intersection of Firestone Boulevard and Alameda Street, striking two vehicles. The 24-year-old female driver of the first vehicle, a 1997 Honda, was taken to an area hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. The 50-year-old female driver of the second vehicle suffered major trauma, while her two teenage passengers sustained minor injuries. Two passengers in Villalobos’ vehicle were also injured. Authorities arrested him on suspicion of engaging in a speed contest, reckless driving, and vehicular manslaughter.

“When a driver harms others while violating traffic safety laws, such as engaging in a street race, the victims may hold the driver liable for the expenses associated with their recoveries,” explained California car accident lawyer James Ballidis. “In the event that a vehicle occupant is killed, his or her family may file a wrongful death claim against the driver.”

Throughout South Gate, 372 people were killed or injured in collisions in 2010, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s most current records. Speed was a factor in 70 of the crashes that resulted in injury or death in the city that year.

California Vehicle Code section 23109 indicates that a person who causes bodily injury to another person while participating in a street race shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of the woman who was killed when the street racing driver ran the red light. We would also like to wish a full recovery to the five people who were injured.

The Los Angeles Times originally reported this South Gate crash.

Additional information on the injury and the wrongful death claims process is available to the public free of charge through our office.

If you would like to request a free book or article, or to speak with a California car accident lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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