In Santa Paula, CA a police officer was found dead at the scene after being partially ejected from the her driver’s car and crushed. Christopher Blankenship, 44, is being accused of responsibility for Kimberley Hemminger’s death that died after only five years of service. Blankenship is a volunteer reserve police officer who claims that he just lost control of his vehicle and crashed. He is being charged for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Apparently, he wasn’t able to make his right hand turn properly and it resulted in losing control of the car and hitting the young police officer. It is reported that Blankenship had two other women in his Jeep, with the victim; though they only received minor cuts and bruising. CHP reports that none of Jeep passengers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.
While statistics show that seatbelts save the lives of many people in accidents, they are not required on the private road where the accident occurred. The victim’s brother Jason claims that his sister had told him that she would be spending time with friends the night of the accident; he assumes that she was close with the accused. Blankenship has volunteered with the local Police Department for ten years now, and has been placed on leave pending the investigation. He had prior experience working with the academy and then turned his service to part time and volunteer because he still hoped to be involved with helping the community. As of Monday, Blankenship was released on a $50,000 bail from prison, and details from the investigation are yet to be released. Facing a conviction of a DUI can be a scary and challenging experience, therefore having the proper legal counsel is crucial when placed in one of these situations. If you or someone you know is in a similar predicament, please contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today for the legal representation that you deserve.