Accident NewsSan Clemente man, 54, was allegedly driving on drugs in OC crash that killed infant

April 6, 20230

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) — The names have been released of the suspect and victims in a horrific Orange County crash that resulted in the death of an infant.

A driver allegedly under the influence of drugs jumped a curb and struck a family of three out for a walk on Sunday afternoon in a neighborhood near Mission Viejo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

On Monday, the California Highway Patrol identified the suspect as Daniel Patrick Lenihan, 54, of San Clemente. He was driving a 2017 Hyundai Sonata and he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and vehicular manslaughter.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m. in the area of Antonio Parkway and Oaktree Lane, south of Mission Viejo, according to CHP.

“You don’t expect these things to happen but unfortunately when somebody decides to take drugs and drive under the influence – it’s not a good combination,” said CHP Officer Brian Kinsey. “Bad things can happen.”

Eyewitness News spoke with Jonathan Cherney on Monday, who lives in the area and specializes in accident reconstruction.

He was at the scene, analyzing the impressions left in the landscape and sidewalk.

Cherney believes Lenihan was speeding and there was little the family could have done.

“I think the scariest thing is that when you’re with your family and you’re walking somewhere that’s safe, nobody is going to expect a car to drive up on the sidewalk and take you out,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents of Las Flores near Rancho Santa Margarita were left stunned after hearing the tragedy that unfolded near their homes.

“I just did this walk like a week ago with my son. It’s horrible,” said Terra Pickett. “I know the pain of losing a child and I just feel so bad for the family and I just wanted to bring them something to know that they’re not alone and this community is here to help support.”

Lenihan is currently in the Orange County Jail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.

We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victims and wish a quick recovery for others involved in this crash during this very difficult time.

If you have been negatively affected by a burn, and think there may be somebody who was negligent and responsible for the fire (or other sources of the burn) in California, an experienced burn injury lawyer or personal injury lawyer can make you assure that your rights are protected. The Law Offices of Burg & Brock has offices throughout California.

When individuals are harmed or killed in traffic accidents, and another party is at fault, full compensation is not always granted, despite the circumstances. Skilled legal representation from a car or truck accident attorney is typically a must in these situations.

Photo credit: ABC7

Legal Defenders at the Law Offices of Burg and Brock has helped countless families and individuals obtain the compensation they need to deal with expenses and move on with their lives. For a police report or other information, call us today at (818) 405-9091.

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