Authorities believe alcohol was a probably a factor in a single-vehicle car accident that killed a woman Monday afternoon when her car flipped over near Half Moon Bay.
• A 54-year-old woman left a friend’s house in a small sports car and never made it home.
• The car veered to the right, and then the woman overcorrected to the left and lost control of the car.
• The car went off the road, flipped over, and landed upside down. The woman suffered a severe head injury and died at the scene.
• Police believe alcohol was a factor.
California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel said 54-year-old Gail A. Burnett, a resident of Half Moon Bay, was driving her 1971 MG convertible home from a friend’s house at the time of the crash.
Burnett was supposed to meet another friend, according to a report in the Half Moon Bay Review. But she never arrived.
She was driving northbound on Verde Road — a rural road east of coastal Highway 1 — when her car drifted to the right. Police believe she overcorrected to the left and lost control of the vehicle. The car went off of the road and then rolled over, landing upside down, Monteil said.
When Burnett didn’t arrive home, her friend who was waiting for her started walking down Verde Road to see what had happened. The friend discovered the crash scene south of Purisma Creek immediately called 911 for help.
Burnett suffered severe head injuries that proved to be fatal. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Police said alcohol appeared to be a factor in the fatal accident, but they could not make a definite determination until the results of toxicology tests were released.
Monteil said the victim was wearing a seat belt.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Every 48 minutes someone in the United States dies in a motor vehicle accident that involves an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Motorcyclists, people under 25, and drivers with prior DUI convictions are at greatest risk.
Here are the CDC’s numbers to show how big the problem really is:
- In 2009, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for a third (32 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Among the 1,314 traffic-related deaths among children (under age 14), 181 involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Half of those 181 children who died in alcohol-related accidents were riding in the vehicle with the drunk driver.
- In 2009, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s less than one percent of the 147 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.
- Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
It is never safe to drink and drive.
Half Moon Bay Car Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented car accident victims and their families for more than 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.