Pedro Juan Soldevila, 62, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, died when he was ejected from a taxi cab en route to San Francisco International Airport.
A Stanford Business School student has been arrested in connection with the tragic accident that killed Soldevila and injured his travel companion. Zachary Katz, 24, drove an Infiniti sedan north in southbound lanes of Highway 101. The collision occurred just before 4 a.m. near Sierra point. Katz’s vehicle struck an SUV taxi carrying Soldevila and another passenger. The taxi then rolled over toward the shoulder and hit another vehicle. Soldevila was thrown from the taxi and died at the scene. The taxi driver and the second passenger sustained major injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital. Both passengers in the taxi were not wearing seat belts.
According to CHP Officer Mike Ferguson, the taxi only had a split second to realize what was happening. It would have been impossible to avoid the collision.
Zachary Katz was booked on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving, having a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher, and driving on the wrong side of the road. He has been released on $250,000 bail. The police are still investigating the collision and have not said where Katz had been before the accident nor how he ended up driving on the wrong side of the freeway.
Drivers are considered to be legally impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher.
Drunk driving results in many unnecessary deaths and costs the United States $132 billion each year. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25-year-olds. Males are almost twice as likely than females to drive drunk. Every day in America, 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes. If you have suffered injury or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, be sure to contact our firm!