Two children were injured after a vehicle crashed into a home in Chandler in the early hours of Sunday, July 28. The driver of that vehicle was arrested following the crash.
According to the Chandler Police Department, the incident happened at around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday in a neighborhood northeast of Chandler Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, by Gazelle Meadows Park.
Officers arrived at the scene and found a 2007 Toyota that was halfway inside of the house. A man who was later identified as Michael Ortega was standing near the driver’s side door of the vehicle.
According to court documents, police said Ortega was staggering and looked confused. After the officers identified themselves, Ortega allegedly tried to flee the scene on foot.
The police eventually caught Ortega when he tried to scale a wall in a backyard in the neighborhood. Officers reported smelling alcohol on his breath while they were arresting him.
The home is owned by Ramon Castaneda, who told AZFamily.com that he saw Ortega in the driver’s seat. His two children suffered head injuries and were hospitalized.
The home also sustained thousands of dollars in damages.
According to the police, Ortega admitted to drinking beers and smoking marijuana before crashing into the house. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 7 and faces charges of aggravated assault, hit-and-run with injury, and drug paraphernalia possession.
Attorney Kevin Biniazin represents people who have been injured by drunk drivers, helping them secure the financial compensation they deserve. Here is Kevin with some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been hit by drunk drivers in Arizona:
When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injuries, those injured may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, Arizona and many other states have dram shop laws, which allow these injury victims to file lawsuits against alcohol vendors and social hosts who provided alcohol to the drunk driver in some cases.
According to Arizona’s dram shop laws, alcohol vendors can be sued for injuries caused by their customers if the vendor sold alcohol to someone who was either obviously intoxicated or who was under the age of 21.
Arizona’s dram shop law defined “obviously intoxicated” as “inebriated to the extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired as shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or signficant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to any reasonable person.”
For example, imagine that Ron goes to Barry’s Bar and has a few beers. He begins stumbling while walking and slurring his speech, but the bartender serves him more drinks when he orders them. Ron then leaves the bar and crashes into a vehicle driven by Sally, seriously injuring her in the process. Sally may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against Ron and a dram shop lawsuit against Barry’s Bar.