Drunk Driver Facing Serious Charges After Injuring Two on 84

Date: September 6, 2013
Location: Interstate 84, Hood River
Names: Chelsea D. Ziegler, Samuel K. Lowe, Leonard L. Gilbert, Emily Smith

Several people were injured, and a man is now facing serious charges following a Friday night crash in Hood River.

Police report that Leonard L. Gilbert, 78, of White Salmon, was the cause of a crash that injured three people. Gilbert was reportedly traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of Interstate 84.  Emily Smith was approaching and swerved to avoid Gilbert’s vehicle. Unfortunately, she was not able to get out of the way in time and Gilbert hit her. He then collided head on with another vehicle, this one driven by Chelsea D. Ziegler, 21, of Camas.

Both Zeigler and her passenger, Samuel K. Lowe, 21, of Camas, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Smith suffered no injuries in the crash. Gilbert sustained serious injuries in the collision and was taken to an area hospital.

At the hospital, he was charged with multiple crimes relating to the accident including driving while under the influence of intoxicants, three counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of third-degree assault, reckless driving and failure to perform duties of a driver involved in a property damage accident.

Luckily, police were all ready on their way to the area when the accident occurred, as they had received several reports of a vehicle driving the wrong way on the Interstate. They arrived on the scene shortly after the crash and were able to render aid immediately.

We would like to express our best wishes to all those injured in the accident. It was very fortunate that no one was killed at a result of this collision.

Drunken driving accidents are tragedies that affect not only the victim, but often the victim’s family and friends as well. These cases are also legally complex and can face very strict time limits (as little as 180 days).

If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to get compensation in a few ways:

  1. You may be able to file a claim with the auto insurance of the at-fault driver.
  2. You may be able to file a claim with your own insurance (if their insurance does not cover all your damages, it was a hit-and-run crash, or they do not have insurance).
  3. You may be able to file a claim against the establishment or person that supplied the alcohol to the drunk driver through a Dram Shop Notice.

A Dram Shop Notice allows you to hold responsible whoever served and continued to serve alcohol to the drunk driver after they were visibly intoxicated, or whoever served alcohol to someone who is underage. This could be a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or whoever supplied the alcohol.

These establishments are required to properly train and incentivize their employees to act in accordance with the OLCC’s guidelines regarding intoxicated drinkers. They should not be allowed to do otherwise. A Dram Shop Notice is a special letter that tells the establishment that they are being held accountable for failing to follow these guidelines.

But if the proper establishment does not receive the Dram Shop Notice within 180 days, the claim may be forever lost. This very tight time limit destroys many otherwise valid claims. Let an Oregon injury attorney who is familiar with the law regarding drunk driving accidents help you through this difficult time, and get you on your way to recovery.

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About Sean DuBois

Sean is a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as Oregon Rising Stars for the past four years because of his dedication to justice and fair compensation for his clients. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your injury case, Sean can be reached at 503-222-4411.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Automobile Accidents, Drunk Driving, personal injury and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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