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Marine Charged With DUI and Deaths of Three of His Colleagues

English: The main gate of Camp Pendleton. This...

English: The main gate of Camp Pendleton. This is the main road for traffic into the base. This gate has been open and manned by Marines 24 hours a day since 1942. Location: MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CALIFORNIA (CA) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the warnings about driving while intoxicated, you would think that people would understand the enormity of the consequences associated with it. Being caught for a DUI in the state of California can cost thousands of dollars in fines and bills, not to mention the driving probation and driving school that comes follows it. However, it’s not only the fines and the probation that makes drunk driving revolting; it’s all the human lives a driver may endanger, whether in the car or others around.

On Wednesday, June 13, Jared Ray Hale, a United States Marine, was charged with vehicle manslaughter of driving under the influence. He now has three felony counts after crashing a car into in a tree, killing three of his colleagues. Hale was the only survivor in the car crash.

The accident happened on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 14 after hours of drinking at a bar. Hale was with three of his fellow Marines at Golden Lantern Drive in Dana Point. After leaving the bar at around 2 a.m., the four men got inside Hale’s Dodge Sedan. While driving around a corner, Hale reportedly lost control of the car and slammed into a tree, immediately killing two of his friends, Christopher Arzola and Jeremiah Callahan. The other passenger in the car, Jason Chleborad, was cut out of the car and immediately taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later. Hale was the designated driver for the night.

When Hale’s alcohol level was checked, it was double the legal limit. At the scene of the accident, Hale was found with a broken arm and brain trauma and then quickly taken to the hospital. He is staying at a medical rehabilitation facility to recover from his injuries. He is facing the possibility of a 10-year jail time sentence.

The four Marines had enlisted in 2008. Hale and the three other Marines were stationed in Camp Pendleton, just north of San Diego. Arzola, from Massachusetts, was 21; Callahan, from Nebraska, was 23; Chleborad, from South Dakota, was 22; and Hale was 25 at the time of the accident. Callahan and Chleborad had served together in Afghanistan.

These wrongful deaths were a result of careless and negligent driving. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated can bring about some grave consequences. As U.S. Marines, the four men had the honor and respect of the country. It only took one mistake from one drunk Marine to end three lives and cause the grief of military families. Having a loved one taken away from you may be one of the hardest things to face, especially if the accident was somebody else’s fault. If you have a similar situation of losing a loved one in a car accident, or if you have been injured by someone else’s carelessness, you have the right to file a legal claim. Dealing with a death or injuries is hard enough for the families of the victim; allow a San Diego car accident attorney assist you in the legal matters of the aftermath and to seek justice.