The California Highway Patrol reported that the fatal collision happened around 8:35 a.m. along SR-247 north of Olivine Road.
Two vehicles were found at the scene, a Jeep Cherokee and a Kia Optima. The Jeep driver reportedly went over the double yellow lines, passing by a vehicle before hitting the Kia.
The 36-year-old Kia driver was declared dead at the Hi-Desert Medical Center, while his 33-year-old passenger died at the scene. Both victims were from Twentynine Palms.
The 39-year-old Jeep driver, identified as Josie S. from Helendale, sustained major injuries and was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
The authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the fatal collision, and alcohol or drugs may have been a factor. Anyone with information is urged to contact the CHP.
Relentless DUI Accident Victim Lawyers in San Bernardino County
After a DUI accident, feeling out-of-control emotions like fear, anger, or distrust is normal. The negligent party is liable for paying the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other financial expenses.
Obtain the legal advice of our relentless San Bernardino County drunk driving accident victim lawyers at Arash Law, headed by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., who will stop at nothing to fight for your claim and protect your rights. One of the biggest in California, our firm has recovered more than $500 Million for clients.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call (888) 488-1391 or complete our “Do I Have a Case?” form.
Top 5 Ways to Protect Yourself After Being a Victim of a DUI
Large insurance companies defend most drunk driving accident claims. One of the most important things you need to know is that the insurance company is never on your side. Please remember: the top concern of an insurance company is to protect its financial interests — they are thinking about their profits and their bottom line, not about offering full and fair compensation to you and your family.
Insurance companies put enormous resources into training representatives to protect company interests. After a significant DUI accident, you may receive a phone call or inquiry from the responsible driver’s insurance company. Be very wary of accepting this type of request. No matter how friendly they sound, an insurance adjuster is against you. They are not looking out for your best interests, and you cannot rely on them for advice.
Below, our San Bernardino County DUI victim attorneys have compiled our top five tips for dealing with the insurance company after being injured in a drunk driving collision.
- Stay Calm and Call the Authorities. Prioritize getting immediate medical attention immediately and contact the authorities to address any injuries you may have sustained.
- Document and Gather Information: Take photographs of your injuries and any signs of negligence, and make detailed notes of what happened. Remember to collect information from any witnesses present during the crash.
- Never Admit or Accept the Blame. It is shocking to some people, but even in DUI accidents, insurance companies often push some blame onto the injured victim. If they can do so, it will allow them to reduce their liability. This means money is coming directly out of their pocket. Never admit or accept any of the faults for a DUI accident. A drunk driver should be held accountable for their misconduct. Victims should not discuss the issue of fault directly with an insurance adjuster.
- Do Not Make a Statement. You have no obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance company immediately after an accident. You will likely get many calls from an insurance adjuster asking for a statement. Why does the company want one so bad? The answer is simple: they want to find information to use against you in the claims process. Keep quiet. Your words can be twisted or misinterpreted. Make the insurance company talk to you through your lawyer.
- Avoid Early Settlement Negotiations. With DUI accident cases, insurers often struggle to avoid liability altogether. As such, they alter their tactics. In cases where liability is clear and obvious, insurers limit the value of an injured victim’s settlement. One common tactic is to offer a quick, lowball settlement to the DUI accident victim. Do not settle your claim for less than you are owed. Let your DUI accident attorney handle settlement talks.
- Do Not Sign Any Documents. You should not sign anything from an insurance company without consulting an attorney. Often, insurers will ask injured victims to sign a full release of their medical records. Do not listen to their claim that a document is ‘standard procedure.’ They are looking for information to use to reduce your compensation. You may not be obligated to give them full access to your records. Your lawyer will make sure that your rights are protected.
- Work Through Your DUI Accident Lawyer. There is no reason to go up against a big insurance company alone. There is a lot on the line in most DUI accident injury claims. Insurance companies will pour resources into finding ways to reduce your settlement. The best thing you can do to protect your rights and interests is to work with the insurance company exclusively through an experienced California DUI accident lawyer. You have the right to legal representation. Use it.
Fatal DUI Accident Statistics
In the US, drunk driving accidents cause the deaths of 32 people daily, or one every 45 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2020, drunk drivers caused 11,654 traffic deaths, an increase of 14% from the previous year.
Between 2016 and 2017, there were 5.8% more fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents. Intoxicated drivers put everyone on the road at risk. Every year, drunk drivers waste approximately 2 billion gallons of fuel.
In California, 949 people died in 2019 due to drunk driving. This is 2.4 per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 3.1 per 100,000. In 2020, San Bernardino County recorded 1,614 crashes involving alcohol, based on data from the California Office of Traffic Safety.