Last Updated: 7/13/2020
An 18-year-old man has been accused of driving drunk and causing a serious 3-vehicle crash at the intersection of South Court Street and Walnut Avenue in Visalia on Saturday, June 15. Three others were injured in the crash, including one woman who was hospitalized in critical condition.
Police say that Mark Anthony Verdugo was driving a Lamborghini Huracan east along Walnut Avenue at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. He allegedly drove through the intersection at Court Street and crashed into two other vehicles.
A Toyota Camry with two occupants was struck by the Lamborghini while driving north on Court. Both the driver and passenger were hospitalized, with the female passenger suffering critical injuries. The driver, 23-year-old Alonzo Prado, was moderately injured in the crash.
A Lincoln MKZ was also struck in the crash while traveling southbound on Court. The driver of that vehicle, 32-year-old Nancy Haywood, suffered minor injuries.
Police officers responded to the scene and discovered a loaded .45-caliber pistol in the Lamborghini. Verdugo was hospitalized with a lumbar injury. He faces charges for DUI, unlawful possession of a firearm, DUI causing great bodily injury, and an unrelated felony warrant.
Police had originally reported that the critically injured woman had died in the crash, but this report was corrected later in the day.
Here is attorney contributor Bobby Thompson with some thoughts on the legal options available to people who have been hit by drunk drivers in California:
“When a drunk driver causes a crash and other people are injured, the victims may have the right to take legal action in order to recover financial compensation. Regardless of which state the crash occurs in, these victims have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the drunk driver,” Mr. Thompson continued.
“Specifically in California, there are “dram shop” laws, which allow drunk driving accident victims to file lawsuits against alcohol vendors or social hosts, depending on the circumstances. In other cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only option to receive compensation for injured victims,” concluded Mr. Thompson.