One man was killed and a former college professor and author arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Thursday morning in University City.
According to reports from the San Diego Police Department, the four vehicle accident took place at approximately 10:50 a.m. at the intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue, where a silver Toyota Prius traveling westbound on La Jolla ran through a red light and crashed into an Audi sedan and a Volkswagen making a turn onto La Jolla from southbound Genesee. A Nissan pickup truck turning onto La Jolla from the north lanes of Genesee was also struck.
The driver of the Volkswagen, 77 year old George Matteson of Pacific Beach, was pronounced dead at the scene by responding paramedics, who were unable to resuscitate him. A female passenger also inside the Volkswagen also suffered significant injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she remains in serious condition. The drivers of both the Prius and the Audi sedan suffered minor injuries, while the Nissan pickup truck driver was unhurt.
The driver of the Prius, 39 year old Soranun Booppanon, was then apprehended at the scene on charges of felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Investigators said that they believed she was under the effects of an unidentified drug. Booppanon, a former professor at National University with a PhD and a book published about job satisfaction in the Air Force, was allegedly on her way to the VA Hospital at the time of the accident. A review of previous traffic infractions revealed six citations since 1996, including five speed tickets.
Following the accident, police closed down the busy intersection to allow for extensive cleanup, causing major traffic throughout the area. Tow trucks were brought to the scene to remove both the Prius and the Volkswagen, which were totaled.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a driver under the influence such as this, there are legal protections in place to help you back on your feet. With the help of an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer, compensation can be recovered from those at fault to help pay for things like hospital visits, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more. You could even recover wages lost from time spent away from work, or from a loss of future earning potential.
At AA Accident Attorneys, we know your rights, and will work to get you everything that you rightfully deserve. We will guide you through the entire process, file your claim, and protect you from harassing phone calls from insurance companies while you focus entirely on the treatment of your injuries.
If you’d like more information about the services we can offer you, or for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights, call us today. We are available seven days a week, any time day or night. As with all of our clients, we will not charge you for any of our legal services until your case is won. If we cannot collect on your case, then you will not owe us anything.