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21-Year-Old Man Killed in a DUI Head-On Collision in Visalia

Head-On Collision, Visalia, CA

20-Year-Old Man is Dead after a Suspected DUI Head-On Collision on Highway 99 near Betty Drive

Visalia, CA -In the dark early hours on Highway 99, a devastating collision not only claimed the life of a young man but also marked another tragic incident involving a wrong-way driver under the influence. This event brings to the forefront the relentless dangers of DUI and the irreversible consequences of a moment’s misjudgment.

The Incident

In the early hours of April 24, 2024, a catastrophic event unfolded on Highway 99 near Betty Drive in Visalia, California. At approximately 3:10 AM, a 2015 Dodge Charger driven by 20-year-old Saul Saldana Armenta, inexplicably entered the northbound lanes heading southbound, setting the stage for a horrific collision. Despite the darkness, the wrong-way driver’s headlights were a fleeting warning before the inevitable occurred.

Armenta’s vehicle collided head-on with a 2022 Honda Civic, driven by 21-year-old Lisandro Santos from Porterville, who was merely days away from celebrating his 22nd birthday. The impact was immediate and fatal for Santos, who sustained injuries beyond survival despite the quick response of emergency services. His vehicle was reportedly making a routine commute, transformed in an instant into a deadly trap by the reckless actions of another.

The aftermath of the crash saw the highway bathed in the flashing lights of law enforcement and medical teams. While Armenta survived with significant injuries, he was arrested at the scene under suspicion of DUI. This tragic event not only left a young man dead but also stirred the local community’s ongoing concerns about road safety and the dire consequences of impaired driving.

Legal Implications 

The fatal collision on Highway 99 involves clear legal implications, primarily surrounding the charges of driving under the influence (DUI). DUI laws in California are stringent, with severe penalties for those found driving the wrong way under the influence, which often includes incarceration, significant fines, and a long-term revocation of driving privileges. Given the circumstances, Saul Saldana Armenta faces serious legal consequences, not only for DUI but potentially for vehicular manslaughter given the death of Lisandro Santos.

Statistically, wrong-way driving crashes, particularly those involving alcohol or drugs, are among the most lethal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wrong-way collisions result in 300 to 400 fatalities annually in the United States. Such crashes are more likely to result in fatal outcomes due to the high-speed, head-on nature of these accidents.

In this context, the tragedy on Highway 99 highlights a critical area of concern for traffic safety and law enforcement. The ongoing investigation will likely focus on how Armenta accessed the highway in the wrong direction and whether preventive measures, such as improved signage or road design, could be implemented to reduce the risk of similar incidents in the future.

The tragedy that unfolded on Highway 99 is a harrowing reminder of the dangers posed by impaired driving and the irreversible damage it can inflict on lives and communities. It underscores the necessity of stringent DUI laws and the vital role of legal expertise in navigating the aftermath of such devastating incidents.

At Scranton Law Firm, we are dedicated to upholding the rights of victims and their families, ensuring they receive the justice and compensation they deserve. With over 50 years of experience and more than $1 billion recovered for our clients, our firm is adept at handling complex cases involving DUI and wrongful death claims. We offer compassionate, comprehensive legal representation tailored to the unique circumstances of each case.

If you or someone you love has been affected by a similar incident, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel immediately. Contact Scranton Law Firm for a consultation, and let our skilled wrongful death lawyers help you through this difficult time. Our commitment to our clients is unwavering, and we strive to ensure that each case is met with the diligence and empathy it deserves.


  1. What should I do immediately after a DUI-related accident? Immediately after a DUI-related accident, ensure your safety and call 911. Obtain medical attention, even if you feel unharmed, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Document the scene with photos and gather contact information from witnesses. Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is also crucial.

  2. Can family members of a deceased victim file a lawsuit in DUI-related accidents? Yes, family members of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. This allows them to seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost future earnings, loss of companionship, and other damages.

  3. What are the penalties for a DUI that results in a fatality? In California, a DUI that results in a fatality can lead to charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or even second-degree murder, depending on the circumstances and the driver’s history. These charges can carry significant prison sentences and other penalties.

  4. How can an attorney help in DUI accident cases? An attorney can help by managing all legal aspects of the case, including negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence to support the claim, and representing the victim’s interests in court to ensure they receive fair compensation.

  5. What should I do if I suspect the other driver involved in the accident was under the influence? If you suspect that the other driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, it’s important to inform the police as soon as they arrive at the scene. Provide any observations about the driver’s behavior that may indicate impairment. This information can be crucial for the police report and any subsequent legal action. Additionally, avoid confronting the other driver about your suspicions to maintain safety and preserve the integrity of the case.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a head-on collision alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a Visalia head-on collision, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.