Driver who hit 18 pedestrians on Venice Boardwalk to stand trial

People all across California were likely quite upset when they heard about the events that ripped a newly-married couple apart. The young couple was on their honeymoon in Los Angeles when the horrific actions of one man turned their vacation into a tragic nightmare. The wife, along with 17 other people, became the unsuspecting victim of a man who drove his car onto the Venice Boardwalk, plowing into pedestrians.

The man will reportedly stand trial for a number of criminal charges including murder, assault with a deadly weapon and multiple counts of hit-and-run. There are likely many people who would like to see this man in jail for his alleged reckless and brutal behavior.

According to reports, the man drove his vehicle through a barrier near a walkway and onto the boardwalk, where he swerved back and forth for more than a half mile. He made no attempt to warn people or even avoid them as he careened down the beachfront path, and he never tried to stop and help the injured victims. At the end of his destructive drive, the young woman on her honeymoon was dead and 17 others suffered various injuries.

The man's attorney argues that the man simply lost control of his car while trying to get out of a parking spot and says that a faulty shift level was to blame. However, the man has a history of alcohol abuse and was allegedly trying to buy drugs from someone on the boardwalk before the accident. It is likely that impairment will be explored as a possible contributing factor to this man's behavior. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a life sentence in prison.

Families who have lost someone in a fatal motor vehicle accident can be devastated by this type of loss. While criminal charges may provide survivors with a sense that justice has been served, they may not be enough to reflect the level of pain and suffering that has been caused. In many cases, families can also pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Money certainly cannot replace a loved one, but it can help compensate families for the loss and serve as an additional means of punishing the party responsible.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Venice Boardwalk suspect to stand trial on murder, assault charges," Paresh Dave, Jan. 8, 2014

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