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Multi-car crash kills 1 in Oakland; driver charged

The California Highway Patrol say that a pileup allegedly caused by a suspected drunk driver and a disabled vehicle on Interstate 580 in Oakland resulted in the death of a man. According to reports, the accident happened around 11:20 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the highway on Nov. 24.

Authorities reported that the alleged drunk driver, a 40-year-old Oakland man driving a Toyota Camry, first crashed into a vehicle that was broken down on the interstate just east of the Fruitvale Avenue exit. After the initial crash, two other vehicles, including a Volvo and a minivan, then crashed into the cars.

The force of the collision caused the minivan to burst into flames, killing its driver. The driver of the Volvo apparently fled the accident scene, and officers are still trying to locate that individual. Upon investigating the accident, they detained the Toyota's driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Reports did not mention the blood alcohol content level of the accused driver.

People who are accused of crimes have a right against self-incrimination, a right to an attorney and a right to present a defense to the charges. Even when law enforcement asserts that they have breathalyzer tests that reportedly show a person was under the influence at the time of an accident, the results of such tests could be challenged in some cases. A criminal defense attorney may be able to seek suppression of such tests by challenging the manner in which they were conducted, for instance.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Oakland: DUI suspect arrested in multi-car crash that killed minivan driver", November 26, 2014

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