ALPINE, California (San Diego County) – A young woman who was preparing to graduate with honors from UC San Diego and a popular fifth-grade teacher at Dool Elementary School in Calexico were both killed in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate Route 8 involving a suspected drunk driver.
Angela Cherene August, 25, of Alpine and Jimmy Anthony Arevalo, 59, of El Centro were both killed early Monday morning in a crash on Interstate Route 8 just west of Tavern Road after August’s vehicle lost control and crashed and Arevalo either collided with her or stopped to offer her assistance. The two were subsequently struck by a third vehicle driven by a suspected drunk driver, according to a report by the San Diego Medical Examiner.
According to the report, August was traveling eastbound on the interstate just before 3 a.m. when her black Toyota Yaris sedan veered off the roadway and rolled multiple times before landing on its wheels. It was not clear whether she collided with a black Chevy Silverado pickup truck driven by Arevalo or he stopped to help her. She was wearing her seatbelt and was pinned inside the vehicle. Arevalo allegedly got out of his vehicle at some point after the collision and was struck by a dark-colored Audi A6 sedan driven by an alleged drunk driver who struck both him and the vehicles, according to the report.
California Highway Patrol officers from the El Cajon station and Alpine Fire Department officers responded to the crash, but both victims were pronounced dead at the scene due to obvious fatal trauma, the report said. According to a news article, police arrested the suspected drunk driver Sunny Hall, 30, of El Cajon.
“People who drive their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not only financially liable for injuries or the death of anyone they crash into, but they will forever carry the guilt of what they have done if they survive the crash themselves,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of The Seegmiller Law Firm. “There is absolutely no excuse to drive drunk.”
California Drunk Driving Statistics
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, some 791 people died because of drunk drivers out of a total of 2,715 people who were killed in traffic accidents in California in 2010.
Nationwide there were 10,228 deaths attributed to alcohol impaired driving in 2010, the NHTSA reports. Some 32,885 people died in traffic accidents nationwide. While the numbers are staggering, deaths from drunk drivers were actually down nearly 5% in 2010 compared to 2009.
The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST (1-855-275-9378). For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more. The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.