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Two dead in California car accident, driver faces DUI charges

A 68-year-old San Jose man was arrested recently in connection with a motor vehicle accident that occurred in the early morning hours on Highway 152. Authorities say the man was travelling westbound in the eastbound lane when his SUV collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by a 23-year-old man. The SUV driver now faces DUI charges as a result of the police investigation.

When authorities responded to the accident, they found that the pickup truck had been carrying three passengers. Police pronounced the right-front passenger dead at the scene. One of the back seat passengers was flown to a hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. The third passenger was also evacuated to a hospital for treatment of what were initially characterized as major injuries. Further word on her medical condition was not disclosed.

Both drivers suffered minor injuries. Reports indicate that authorities investigated the scene and determined the SUV driver was purportedly driving under the influence. Officers arrested him on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

The guilt or innocence of this man with regard to these criminal charges will be decided in a court of law. While we do not know all the details and cannot predict the outcome of this particular case, it serves as an example of the dangers drivers face on our roadways. DUI charges can affect many aspects of one's life, and it is important that California residents know and understand their rights under state and federal law. The potentially severe consequences this driver may face if a conviction is ultimately obtained require that he focus on protecting his legal rights to ensure that he receives a fair and unbiased trial.

Source: Merced Sun-Star, "DUI suspected in crash that killed 2," Victor A. Patton, Oct. 9, 2012

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