The mother of Leslie Balderrama, a Tehachapi teenager who was struck and killed by a DUI driver in 2015, has donated $2,500 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County, following the settlement of her wrongful death lawsuit.
Chain | Cohn | Stiles, the law firm that represented mother Denise Natividad, matched the donation. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
“When we became victims of a DUI crime, MADD Kern County became our advocate and worked hard to make sure we had a voice, and treated our family with compassion,” said Denise Natividad, mother of Leslie Balderrama. “We’re able to give back now and help another local family who unfortunately will have to deal with the aftermath of the actions of a drunk or drugged driver.”
Added Matt Clark, Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney for the Natividad family:
“The crash that claimed the life of Leslie Baldarrama was incredibly tragic and 100 percent avoidable like all DUI crashes. Our law firm is honored to continue to help MADD Kern County, and it’s touching to know that Leslie’s family feels the same way.”
The $5,000 will go toward the fourth annual Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash, MADD Kern County’s annual event that raises funds to help innocent victims of local DUI crashes, raises awareness of the DUI epidemic in our community, and helps fund MADD Kern County programs, including the court advocate program that helped the Natividad family through the criminal trial. Chain | Cohn | Stiles is serving as a presenting sponsor for the event.
“Our wish is to get to a point where MADD Kern County’s services aren’t needed,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist with MADD Kern County. “Until then, we’re grateful for the support from Denise Natividad, which helps us continue to advocate for victims, and fight to end drunk and drugged driving in Kern County forever.”
The 2017 Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash will be held the morning of Sept. 23 at Park at River Walk. You can help by signing up to walk, run (free kid’s fun run, 5K or 10K), joining as a team captain, donating or volunteering. The family of Leslie Balderrama has formed a team, and will be in attendance. For more information, go to walklikemadd.org/bakersfield.
Since 2009, our community has seen at least 4,000 DUI arrests made each year, with 4,056 DUI arrests in 2016, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. That’s more than 11 DUI arrests per day. Sadly, many impaired drivers weren’t stopped in time, and instead caused major damage to innocent lives.
If you or someone you know is injured in a crash at the fault of someone else, please contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com.
- Mother who lost daughter in DUI crash donates $2,500 to MADD, Kern County (The Bakersfield Californian – Aug. 11, 2017) (web version)
- Chain | Cohn | Stiles matches donation to MADD Kern County by mother of Tehachapi teenager (KGET-17, NBC – Aug. 10, 2017)
PREVIOUS MEDIA COVERAGE
- Chain | Cohn | Stiles files lawsuit in case of Tehachapi teenager killed in DUI hit-and-run (Blogging for Justice)
- Young pedestrian killed on Highway 202; 2 locals arrested (Tehachapi News)
- Tehachapi teen girl dies in hit and run and CHP says alcohol may have been a factor (KGET-17, NBC)
- 2 arrested in hit-and-run crash that left girl dead (KBAK / KBFX 29-58, CBS / FOX)
- Leslie Elaine Balderrama, 2000-2015 (Tehachapi News, Obituary)
- Basketball team remembers Tehachapi teen killed in hit and run (KERO-23, ABC)
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- Chain | Cohn | Stiles files lawsuit on behalf of family of Tehachapi teenager killed in DUI hit and run (KGET-17, NBC)
- Lawsuit filed for family of girl killed in crash (KBAK / KBFX 29-58, CBS / FOX)
- Wrongful death lawsuit filed in hit-and-run that killed teen girl (The Bakersfield Californian)
- Family of teen killed in hit and run formally files civil charges (KERO-23, ABC) (Yahoo News)
- Wrongful death lawsuit filed in hit-and-run that killed teen girl (Tehachapi News)
- Family of Tehachapi teen killed in hit and run crash files wrongful death lawsuit (KGET-17, NBC)
- Two sentenced in hit-and-run that killed Tehachapi teen (The Bakersfield Californian – Nov. 30, 2016)
- Two men sentenced for deadly Tehachapi hit and run that killed 14-year-old Leslie Balderrama(KERO-23, ABC – Nov. 30, 2016)
- Two men sentenced in deadly hit-and-run, DUI collision (Eyewitness News, KBAK-29 CBS – Nov. 30, 2016)