As a Bellevue car accident lawyer and Issaquah wrongful death attorney, I’ve seen the pain of the people affected by fatal drunk driving accidents. Fortunately, the number of alcohol related deaths has continually decreased over the past few decades. In 2008, the total number of deaths caused by DUI in the United States was 13,846 which is 37% of the total auto accident fatalities recorded. In Washington, however, there was a recorded 521 fatalities of which 225 were alcohol related.–43% of Washington deaths being caused by alcohol is an unacceptably high statistic.

On Sunday, December 5th, an drunk driving accident occurred on Highway 101 near Olympic National Park. 56-year-old Bruce Hebner was traveling east on Highway 101 in his Dodge Ram 1500 when his vehicle crossed over the centerline toward westbound traffic. His truck collided with a Ford Ranger in the oncoming lane. The driver of the Ranger, 49-year-old driver Antoinette Barragan, was seriously injured in the collision. Barragan sustained multiple broken bones. Luckily, Barragan’s 13-year-old son in the passenger seat walked away from the accident uninjured. Barragan was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and Hebner was arrested under investigation of vehicular assault and DUI.

In this drunk driving accident, negligent driving nearly caused the deaths of a 49-year-old woman and her 13-year-old son. This is a powerful example of how dangerous drunk driving can be. With the coming of the Christmas season and holiday parties, always be sure to have a designated driver with you. Also, be responsible not only for yourself, but also for others and stop other drivers from making bad decisions. This will help to make the roads of Washington a safer place to drive.

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