Category: Car

Driver Faces Felony Charges After Fatal Yuba City, California Drunk Driving Accident

A Yuba City, California driver can expect to be charged in connection with a drunk driving accident in which two of his close friends were killed.

The accident that occurred on Highway 99 near Live Oak, California on November 16th, is just one more reminder of the needless risks we take with the lives of those closest to us when we drink and drive. The driver in this car crash, 20-year-old Abdul Umar Hay, was returning from an all-night party with his friend Rafael Courtland Walker and Matthew Stephen Fair. Initial reports say that Hay must have dozed off at the wheel, causing the car to zip though a stop sign. A short while later, it was broadsided by a Ford Explorer. The impact of the crash caused Hay’s car to be pushed over into a nearby orchard. Both Walker and Fair were declared dead at the scene of the car accident. Both were 20-years-old.

Hay was the only survivor, and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. He can now expect to be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence causing injury. He doesn’t have a previous criminal record, but could be looking at a minimum of 6 months in prison, if found guilty.

The reactions of Walker’s and Fair’s parents were a study in contrast. Fair’s father remains indignant at the thought of a six-month sentence for the man he holds responsible for killing his son, while Walker’s mother, who is a member of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), insists that prison time is not an appropriate sentence. Last Friday, the families of the two victims took part in a memorial service that celebrated their lives.

You have to understand Richard Fair’s anger. Matthew was his only son and whether the two victims in the car had also consumed alcohol or not, the fact is that only Hay was in charge of driving them home. At 20, Hay is looking at an irredeemable stain on his record. This young man has a lifetime ahead of him, and has voluntarily cast a pall over his ambitions and his future through his negligent actions. Hay will have to deal with a lifetime of guilt for the deaths of his two friends.

Underage drinking continues to be a problem, and is cited as a factor in too many California drunk driving accidents for us to take any debate on lowering the drinking age seriously, as proposed by many college deans. What’s needed to tackle the problem is not lowering the drinking age, and giving every 18-year-old in California carte blanche with alcohol, but a joint effort by parents, college administrators as well as the community. In Yuba City, for instance, many parents including Walker’s mother, Jean Hammonds, believes that the area just doesn’t offer enough recreation opportunities for the young to let off steam. The result is underage drinking binges like the one that took place here, and the tragic drunk driving accidents that result from these.…

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Anatomy of Vehicle Lease Fraud

I hope the economic downturn is not beating you up too badly. Obviously it’s taking its toll on several sectors of the economy, one of which is car dealers.

I would hope that car dealers will fight their way out of the downturn with ethical and honest sales and service, and undoubtedly some will. However, there will be those that will not, and will turn instead down the dark path of deceiving consumers. To prevent against these dealers and these deceptions, we offer the advice and insight as found on my blog and in several articles I have written for many publications.

One area of car dealer fraud that we continue to see quite a bit of involves fraud in car leases. Even with the credit crunch, dealers are still able to arrange for financing for car leases, and car leases are frequently more expensive for consumers, although they appear as less expensive on the surface.

The classic lease fraud is the “bait and switch,” where a consumer goes to a dealer to buy a car and believes he is buying a car, but is instead switched into a lease. Sometimes dealers will tell consumers that they need to sign up for a lease “for a short time” to let interest rates come down, or some other malarky, and promise to change the deal to a purchase deal “in a few weeks.” When the consumer returns “in a few weeks,” the salesperson who negotiated the lease with him is nowhere to be found and no one at the dealer has any interest in changing the consumer into the promised purchase transaction.

There are various reasons why dealers would prefer to put you into a lease as opposed to a purchase. For one thing, dealers often get larger incentive bonuses from the leasing companies to put consumers into a lease, so dealers frequently make more money from the lenders on leases. Same with the manufacturers: depending on what is going on with vehicle inventory, manufacturers will often give dealers incentives to put consumers into leases instead of purchases. Finally, lease contracts are confusing, permitting dealers to throw more curveballs into the lease which result in higher hidden fees and payments by the consumer.

Currently, as of today, GM sales are off by over 40% and Ford sales are off by over 30%. I do not know the current status of Chrysler sales, but it’s probably similar. GM and Ford are in a position where they, and their dealers, will do just about anything to move vehicles off the lot. As stated above, there are truthfully quite a few dealers who will respond to the current pressures with honest ways and means of promoting vehicle sales, but there are also those that will respond dishonestly.

I do have a few tips if you are concerned about being switched into a vehicle lease, or if you are confused as to whether you will be paying more for a lease than for a purchase. …

Boy Killed in San Jose, California Car Accident

A family outing turned deadly for a San Jose family that lost its son in a car accident involving a teenage driver in Livermore, California on Saturday. The Alameda County Coroner has identified the boy as Jonathan Manzo.

Jonathan was in his mother’s minivan, along with his sister and bother, with his mother driving. According to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle, the family was driving along in their Mercury minivan when a teenage motorist heading in their direction, attempted to over take another car. In doing so, the driver of that car, a Toyota Corolla, lost control of his vehicle, and veered into oncoming traffic, and the minivan. The van broadsided the Corolla, leaving the occupants, and especially Jonathan, with severe injuries.

Jonathan was airlifted to an Oakland hospital, along with one of his siblings. He died in the hospital from injuries sustained in the car accident. His mother, and the other sibling who was in the car, were hospitalized for their injuries. There’s no information about their condition.

This is no doubt a terrible time for the Manzo family, and our hearts go out to the surviving members who have lost so much in this car accident.

The driver of the Toyota, a 17-year-old boy was also hospitalized for treatment of injuries he sustained in the crash. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in the accident.

Investigations are ongoing, and we will doubtless hear more details as the days go by. For instance, at what speed was the teen motorist driving? Was there reckless or aggressive driving involved? What about the possibility of street racing in this accident? A young boy has been killed, and the people in charge of driving him do not seem to have been at fault.

The Manzo family, including Jonathan’s two siblings, continues to be in the hospital for treatment. They deserve to be compensated not just for their heart-breaking loss, but also their own trauma and injuries suffered as a result of this car accident. There are medical expenses involved, and loss of earnings that must be accounted for. The family must seek the advice of an experienced California car accident attorney as quickly as possible, to explore the legal avenues they have.…

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