A man was killed after being struck head on by a suspected drunk driver fleeing the scene of another accident late Saturday night in Hemet.

According to the California Highway Patrol, 20 year old Ramon Celaya was driving his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck down Highway 74 near Winchester Road just before 11:30 p.m. when another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction and crashed head on into his vehicle.

The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was 26 year old Edilberto Sixtos, who was fleeing from the scene of a minor crash that took place less than a mile away from the accident with Celaya.

Sixtos, Celaya, and two teenagers in the car with Celaya were all rushed to Riverside County Regional Medical Center with major injuries. At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Celaya was pronounced dead. The other three remain in critical condition.

After the accident, Sixtos was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit-and-run causing injury, though he has not been booked into county jail and no charges have been filed, as he still remains in the hospital under Riverside County sheriff’s custody. Celaya’s passing will surely increase the severity of the charges against him.

Residents in the Hemet area were upset upon hearing the news of Celaya’s passing. “There is no excuse for drinking and driving in this society that is constantly warning of the dangers as well as penalties of drinking and driver. If you know you’re going to drink, get a designated driver. End of story,” said one commenter.

A follow-up investigation into Sixtos’ criminal record shows that he also has an outstanding warrant for a seat belt violation from 2004, adding to the litany of charges he is likely to face when he is released from the hospital.

Once again the dangers of drunk driving are plainly displayed. Getting behind the wheel of an automobile while under the influence not only puts yourself in danger, but other drivers around you, as in this case. An innocent life was lost, and two others were seriously injured as a result of one man’s poor decisions.

For victims involved in drunk driving accidents like this, there are legal options available to help them mend the damages they have sustained. Compensation can be recovered from those at fault through the assistance of a Riverside car accident lawyer, who can help get you the full amount that you are owed.

At AA Accident Attorneys, we can help guide you through this complicated legal process, and get you the results you deserve. As always, we will not charge you anything for our services until your case has been won. If you’ve been involved in an accident, do not hesitate to call us right away for a free evaluation and to learn what our accident lawyers can do for you!