Miami police arrested the driver of a van that struck a group of Good Samaritans who were assisting an injured motorcycle rider shortly after 1 a.m. on Friday, August 31. Lionel Orrego faces several serious charges, including DUI manslaughter, in connection with the accident that left 4 people dead and another 7 injured on I-95 near NW 62nd Street in Miami.
In total, Orrego has been charged with four counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury, three counts of DUI with property damage, and one count of resisting arrest with violence.
Four of the victims passed away at Ryder Trauma Center. These victims have been identified as 21-year-old Alice Ghani, 38-year-old Randy Benjamin, 25-year-old Jhon Garzon, 27-year-old Meryl Diaz.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard has some thoughts on the legal options available to victims of drunk drivers:
We all know that drunk driving destroys lives, but countless Americans still choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated every day. When innocent victims are injured or killed in accidents caused by these drivers, those victims and their families may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the driver. Additionally, Florida and most other states have dram shop laws which allow third parties to be held liable for providing alcohol to someone who injures other people in an alcohol-related accident.
Florida's dram shop laws are a bit more restrictive than other states. In Florida, alcohol vendors (like bars, restaurants, liquor stores, etc.) can be held liable for alcohol-related injuries and deaths if they knowingly gave alcohol to the person who caused the accident under either of the following circumstances:
If your family has been affected by a drunk driving accident and you're curious about your legal options, you can learn more by discussing your case with an experienced DUI accident lawyer.