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Dying California motorcycle accident victim is 9-month-old's mom

How do you tell children they no longer have a parent because of a stranger's reckless behavior? A heartbreaking job like this often falls to someone – a spouse or parent left behind – also grappling with understanding how anyone could be insensitive to the value of a life. To survivors, the only immediate comfort is in memories.

A 9-month-old child will grow up with the love of her California relatives and other people who cared for her mother. The baby's parent recently suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident that left the 27-year-old mother on life support. The victim's family ordered removal of the equipment keeping the mother alive, after doctors said there was no hope the woman would live.

The child's mother was severely injured while riding a motorcycle through an intersection in Redding. Police reported the woman in the car that struck the rider was driving under the influence of several drugs. The accident occurred because the driver ignored a red light.

The 53-year-old driver was arrested. She confessed to authorities that she had combined marijuana with methamphetamine and prescription medications. The defendant posted bond after being arrested for DUI with great bodily injury, although prosecutors in Shasta County are almost certain to upgrade the severity of the charge once the victim dies.

Compensation, including punitive damages, may be awarded when a wrongful death jury determines an accident victim's death was due to defendant malice. Malice, as detailed in California Penal Code Section 188, can be deliberate or implied. Malice is rooted in what the law says is wrong intent caused by "an abandoned and malignant heart."

That description would fit the intent of a driver who chooses to risk other motorists' lives by driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Survivors are entitled to file claims for financial and emotional losses related to a loved one's wrongful death.

Source: KRCR, "Young mother to be removed from life support" Shay Arthur, Apr. 28, 201 

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