Joseph M. Barela, 19, from Ogden, Utah, died on March 14, 2010 from an alcohol-related car crash. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Barela was driving a blue 1995 Chevy Cavalier when he veered off 12th Street at around 4 in the morning in Ogden, Utah. Barela was speeding at the time of the accident. His car crossed into the westbound lane, jumped the curb and went into a grove of trees before eventually hitting the rock wall in front of a house. A 20-year-old man from Ogden, Utah who was a passenger in the car, crawled out the window to ask for help at the house. The car burst into flames and the passenger ran back to the car to pull Barela out of his seat. Unfortunately, Barela died at the scene. The passenger was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital Center for treatment.
I wish the family of young Joseph Barela the very best as they are cope with this tragic loss. It appears the passenger was treated and released; I wish him well as he recovers in the coming weeks.
Liability appears to lie with the driver, Joseph Barela. The initial reports indicate that Barela may was driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol inhibits our senses making driving extremely difficult. Drunk driving leads to serious lapses in judgment, lapses that are magnified on the road. The slightest obstacle can present a serious problem to a drunk driver. Alcohol causes slower reaction time, decreased perception ability, and a tendency to be overconfident with your driving. All of these outcomes put the driver, passenger, and everyone else on the road in serious danger.
In this case, the passenger has a claim against the car’s insurance. This claim will help him cover medical bills associated with the crash, recover lost wages and compensate for pain and suffering. I recommend that the passenger of the vehicle contact an experienced Ogden, Utah personal injury attorney who will help him explore all legal avenues available.