The case of a Laguna Beach physician who is accused of killing two fellow motorists this past spring will not move forward in court until next month. A judge in Orange County Superior Court in Newport Beach agreed to postpone the doctor's arraignment to mid-December at the request of his attorney.
The tragic car accident occurred on Laguna Canyon Road on April 2 when the Tesla Model S being driven by the doctor allegedly went over the double yellow lines and crashed head-on into a Honda Accord that was driving southbound. The driver and passenger of that car died before they could be transported for medical aid. The driver was 47, and his passenger was 38.
The 48-year-old physician has been charged with a number of crimes. These include two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, as well as a single count of driving the wrong way on a divided highway causing death. These are all felonies. If convicted, he could face a longer sentence for causing "great bodily harm."
Although the doctor was not found to be under the influence of alcohol, he reportedly was speeding at the time of the early-morning collision. He could be facing over nine years in prison if he is found guilty. He is currently free on $100,000 bond.
Prosecutors agreed to the postponement of the arraignment, which had originally been scheduled for this month. The defendant's attorney says that he will work with the district attorney in the interim if needed.
It was not reported whether the doctor is facing any civil lawsuits from the victims' families. However, they are certainly entitled to sue him for his culpability in the fatal accident. Plaintiffs often wait until the criminal case has taken its course before they seek civil damages. While no amount of money can replace their loved ones, it can help provide for their families.
Source: Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, "Arraignment for Laguna doctor postponed" Bryce Alderton, Nov. 18, 2013