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Irvine Woman Sentenced in Deadly Orange County, California Car Accident

December 31, 1969

A judge has sentenced 43-year-old Anne Keen to two years behind bars over an Orange County, California car accident that claimed the life of an elderly motorist. Pat Thompson-Yates, 77, died on January 18, 2011.

According to prosecutors, Keen was in Irvine when, because she wasn't paying attention, instead of stopping at the red light at the Farwell Avenue and Culver Avenue intersection she kept driving, which caused her car to CRASH into the vehicle driven by Thompson-Yates, who was making a legal left turn from Farwell Avenue. Keen's vehicle then spun around before again striking the elderly woman's car. Thompson-Yates, who was rushed to the hospital, died from multiple blunt-traumatic injuries.

Meantime, testing showed that Keen had methamphetamine in her system at the time of the collision. She negotiated a deal, pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of using a controlled substance, the felony crime of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and the infraction of driving as an uninsured motorist.

Distracted Driving
It is imperative that motorists pay attention to the road and other vehicles. Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds or becoming so preoccupied with a conversation you are engaged in/whatever you are worrying about can prove fatal. Couple any type of distracted driving activity--texting talking on a cell phone, surfing the Internet, eating, putting on makeup, looking elsewhere other than the road, reading a book, watching a movie, or eating--with driving while intoxicated and the consequences can be catastrophic.,

Driving while Intoxicated
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or heavy medication can affect driver attention, cognitive abilities, behavioral skills, judgment, coherence, and the ability to think and react clearly. It is also against the law. Unfortunately, every year, people are killed because motorists weren't paying attention and/or were intoxicated or inebriated. The law takes a harsh stance against motorists that were driving under the influence and often, the impaired driver must face the harsh consequences of jail time, harsh fines, and the knowledge that he/she caused someone else devastating harm.

"In addition to any criminal case filed against a reckless driver, you may be able to file an Irvine car accident claim to recover damages," said Anaheim personal injury attorney Vincent Howard.

It is important that you speak with an experienced Orange County, California motor vehicle crash law firm as soon as possible after the accident. There may be evidence that needs to be gathered and preserved and key witnesses to speak to while their memories of what happened are still fresh.

Distracted driver sentenced in fatal crash, OC Register, January 6, 2012

Irvine woman faces manslaughter charge in red-light crash, Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2011

More Blog Posts:
CHP Employs "Zero Tolerance" Policy with Distracted Driving Crackdown, California Injury Lawyers, December 29, 2011

NTSB Wants All States to Ban Cell Phone Driving, California Injury Lawyers, December 13, 2011

Huntington Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Accuses Police Officer of Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Injury Lawyers, October 10, 2011

"The outcome of any criminal case is separate from a civil lawsuit, which means that even if charges aren't filed or the driver isn't convicted, you still may be able to recover damages," said Anaheim car accident lawyer Vincent Howard.

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact Howard Law PC. Orange County, California wrongful death attorney Vincent Howard works represents clients all over Southern California.