Thursday, July 18, 2013

Santa Rosa Pedestrian Victor Buxbaum Killed by Drunk Driver

A tragic and unnecessary pedestrian death took place on the evening of Wednesday July 10th, when a driver who was under the influence veered off the road and hit a pedestrian and his dog.  The 33-year-old driver should not have been on the road that evening, as his license was suspended because of a previous DUI.  Andrew Tungseth, a Santa Rosa native, was driving northbound on Stony Point Road when he drifted his 2004 Toyota Tacoma into the right hand shoulder and struck 52-year-old Victor Buxbaum and his dog, then crashed into two parked vehicles.  Both Buxbaum and his pit bull reportedly died at the scene at approximately 7:27 p.m.

Following an investigation, police found prescription drugs, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in Tungseth’s vehicle.   Tungseth was arrested at the scene for suspicion of felony DUI with drugs, DUI with alcohol, driving with a suspended license, driving drunk with a suspended license, and manslaughter.  After his arrest, the Santa Rosa District Attorney released a statement regarding his extensive criminal history, and their intent to pursue charges, possibly even for second degree murder.  Tungseth is currently being held on $100,000 bail in the Sonoma County Jail.
At Matiasic Roth & Johnson LLP our thoughts and prayers are with the Buxbaum family in their time of immeasurable grief.  Losing a family member at the hands of a drunk driver is a burden no family should have to endure.  Mr. Buxbaum is remembered fondly in several published reports, which stated that he was a well-liked yoga teacher in the Santa Rosa community.

While the state pursues criminal charges, Mr. Buxbaum’s family will be simultaneously entitled to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation for his wrongful death.  Since Mr. Tungseth was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, it is clear that he is liable for Mr. Buxbaum’s tragic death.  At Matiasic Roth & Johnson LLP we believe that drivers who choose to participate in reckless behavior should be held responsible for their actions.  If you have lost a loved one because of a negligent, inattentive, or intoxicated driver, call Matiasic Roth & Johnson LLP today for your free consultation and case evaluation.

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