KTLA reports that a DUI is suspected in the head-on collision that killed a 5-year-old girl. The collision occurred at about 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9th.
61-year-old George Kokoteev was traveling east on Avenue O, just west of 165th Street. He drifted into oncoming traffic, where he struck a 2015 Nissan Altima head-on. A 5-year-old girl in the Altima was pronounced dead after being taken to Antelope Valley Hospital. The driver of the Altima, 26-year-old Tijera Taylor, and her passengers, 27-year-old Kion Phylow, as well as a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy were all injured.
Kokoteev suffered from major injuries. Police said that the injuries suffered by those in the Altima were said to be moderate.
Police believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident. The case is still under investigation, and the California Highway Patrol is asking anyone with information to contact them.
California law deals with the crime of driving while intoxicated and causing injury. This is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. As long as the injuries are minor and there is no previous record of DUI offenses, the charge is generally made as a misdemeanor. However, if the injuries are serious, the driver has a history of DUI convictions, or has a previous felony DUI, the charge will most likely be prosecuted as a felony. As it pertains to “serious” injury, California courts generally recognize broken or fractured bones as a “serious” injury.