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Valerie Melendez

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November 8, 2013
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Justice for DUI victims?

I am writing to vent my displeasure with the justice system in Nevada County.

In July of this year, I was involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 20 at approximately 9 p.m. A DUI driver decided at the last minute to turn in front of my vehicle, causing a four-person injury incident, totaling my vehicle and wrecking his. My son, a passenger, was care-flighted to a Roseville hospital. Myself and my 6-year-old great-niece were transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where the DUI driver was also taken.

The DUI driver did about 60 days in jail and was released prior to his court date on his own recognizance, no bail, and his felony charges were reduced. He was originally charged with two felony DUIs causing injury. He was not charged with child endangerment or injury to a child. They released a pretty-much flight risk person. I was notified that they are considering giving him probation.

My life has been totally devastated. He had lousy insurance. My son has more than $100,000 in medical bills for that one night of medical care. My niece and I have about $5,000 in medical bills from that night. His insurance is only paying out $30,000 in restitution for everything! We did not have under-insured insurance coverage. We are left with thousands of dollars of medical bills. My son lost his job due to this incident; we do not have any medical insurance. The stress of all this and the financial hardship has caused major marital problems in my son’s marriage and mine.

I don’t find any justice in Nevada County, California. If I ever take up drinking, I know where to do it.

Valerie Melendez lives in Carson City, Nev.


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The Union Updated Nov 9, 2013 11:07AM Published Nov 8, 2013 04:22PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.