Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 16th, a drunk driver caused a head-on crash that ultimately killed Jonathan Maxwell and injured Mark Shaffer and Ashley Kilgore in Highgrove. While traveling on La Cadena Drive East, 21-year-old Nathan Wendall Williams lost control of his white BMW sedan while negotiating a curve, swerving into the opposing lane of traffic, and colliding with a red Cadillac sedan. Shaffer, the driver of the van, and his two passengers, Maxwell and Kilgore, suffered trauma and were transported to hospitals. Upon notifying his family of his condition, Maxwell was taken off life-support. Williams was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence causing injury, driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more, and driving on a suspended license.
“When a driver neglects safety laws and causes an accident, he or she may face civil actions from the victims or their families in addition to criminal charges from the state,” explained California personal injury attorney James Ballidis.
The California Highway Patrol’s most current accident data indicates that 172 motor vehicle occupants lost their lives and 10,963 were injured in collisions that occurred throughout Riverside County in 2009. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 87 of the fatal and 986 of the injury crashes that year.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Jonathan Maxwell, the passenger who was fatally injured in the head-on crash caused by the drunk driver. We would also like to wish a full recovery to Mark Shaffer and Ashley Kilgore, the two occupants who were injured.
The Press-Enterprise originally reported this Highgrove crash.
Resources for accident victims and their families, such as books and articles on the process of filing a civil claim after an accident resulting in injury or death, are available to the public free of charge through our office.
If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California personal injury attorney, feel free to call 1-888-834 5055.