Drunk-Driving Crash Kills Homeless Man

Date: May 13, 2010
Location: I-405 & Burnside, Portland, Oregon
Names: Alvaro Lugos-Ponce, [Unknown]

Speed and alcohol were factors in a crash that killed a sleeping homeless man on I-405 northbound under Burnside Street in Portland Oregon, on May 13, 2010, according to a press release by the Portland Police Bureau.

The Oregon fatal crash occurred around 11 PM, after a pickup truck driven by Alvaro Lugos-Ponce, 23, lost control, drove off the right shoulder of the highway and rolled over, striking a sleeping male transient. KGW.com reports that the man was killed instantly.

Lugos-Ponce and his three passengers received non-life threatening injuries in the crash. They were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

Lugos-Ponce was charged with one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, one count of Assault in the Second Degree, two counts of Assault in the Fourth Degree, DUII, and Reckless Driving.

A witness to the crash called it a “nightmare,” according to KPTV.com.

Officers are continuing the crash investigation, and trying to determine the name of the man who was killed.

Our hearts go out to the family of the man who died in this tragic crash, especially since Portland drunk driving crashes are entirely preventable. This did not need to happen.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the family. When a drunk driver causes an accident in Oregon, there is a possibility of suing the person or bar who served the alcohol. This must be done correctly, and quickly. There are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit in Oregon, and where alcohol is involved, the limits get even stricter. A Dram Shop Notice must be sent to the server within 180 days of the incident, pursuant to ORS 471.565.

Why sue a bar for serving a person alcohol? Well, the bar must have done something. Bars are regulated strictly by the OLCC, and if they serve to minors, or serve to a person who was visibly intoxicated, they have violated regulations and they should be held responsible for that. But the rules only work if the bartenders are well-trained and supported. If anyone is at fault, it’s not going to be the clerks and bartenders – it’s going to be the owner. If an investigation finds that the owner of the bar did not train the bartenders properly, hired the cheapest people and then underpaid them, routinely told the bartenders to serve as much as possible to increase profits, faked bartender’s OLCC licensing tests, and routinely served minors, then a lawsuit could prevent another similar accident in the future. If there were honest, well-trained, hardworking bartenders and clerks who made a single honest mistake, then a lawsuit would do no good. But, the family at least gets to rest easy knowing that they investigated, and found out the truth of the matter.

We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of drunk driving in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you settle your lawsuit without an attorney. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.