According to recent news reports from Newport Oregon two-year-old Judith Cuevas-Luna died on Friday March 18 following a fatal auto accident caused by a suspected drunk driver that happened around 8:17 p.m. Cuevas-Luna was in a child safety seat in the back of a 1999 Chevrolet minivan driven by 34-year-old Francisco Cuevas-Lopez of Cloverdale. Rosa Luna-Ruiz 39 also of Cloverdale was also in the van. A 2001 Ford pickup driven by 41-year-old Russell Hayner of Newport was traveling south on Hwy 101 near NE 31st St. when he veered into the northbound lane striking the Chevy minivan head-on. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. The two adults in the Chevy were taken to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital located in Newport with injuries described as non-life-threatening. Hayner was taken to the same hospital for minor injury. He has been charged with DUI manslaughter assault reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. He is currently in the Lincoln County Jail on a bail of $440000.
Drunk driving accidents are a tragic epidemic across the United States that result in severe injury to thousands of people and the loss of hundreds of lives each year. Each injury or loss is felt deeply and personally by family friends and communities who are greatly affected by the reverberations of such an accident. When the victim of an alleged drunk driving accident is a child the swell of emotions felt by those affected can be immense. When such accidents occur a suspected drunk driver can be held civilly liable for their actions even if theyre facing criminal charges. Additionally if an alcohol-serving establishment may have played a negligent role in the accident they may be held partially liable for the consequences of the wreck if their actions detrimentally contributed to the wreck.