Family of ‘Bakersfield Christmas Parade’ DUI Crash Victim Speak About ‘Hero’ Father, Grandfather (Chain | Cohn | Clark Lawsuit)

December 12, 2023 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff | At the Firm , News & Media

Family of ‘Bakersfield Christmas Parade’ DUI Crash Victim Speak About ‘Hero’ Father, Grandfather (Chain | Cohn | Clark Lawsuit)

Editor’s Note: The following was part of a news release sent to local media outlets regarding a press conference with the family of victims of the alleged DUI crash during the Bakersfield Christmas Parade. 


Arnold Rios, 77, is a recon Marine vet, Vietnam War purple hearts recipient, retired LAPD detective and Kern County Public Defender’s Office investigator, and former volunteer for the United Farm Workers. He and his wife Candace have three adult daughters and nine grandchildren.

On Dec. 7, Rios became yet another innocent victim of a statistically common and 100% preventable crime in Kern County: an impaired driving crash. Arnold and Candace were getting ready to enjoy the Bakersfield Christmas Parade on Thursday when Alan Lewis Booth ran over Arnold and two others while allegedly under the influence. Arnold Rios suffered bilateral leg fractures and a skull fracture with a brain bleed. He remains in the critical care unit.

“The impact of impaired driving on people in Kern County is real, and we’re seeing it too often in our community,” said Matt Clark, managing partner and attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark. “Arnold Rios and his family will never be the same due to the alleged conduct of Mr. Booth and his selfish act of driving while under the influence.”

Rios’ daughters Anna Escobedo, Rachel Marantos, and Marissa Sullivan spoke to media about their father, his injuries, and impaired driving in our community. He was joined by Clark and attorney Juan Garza of Chain | Cohn | Clark.

“This crash has been devastating,” Sullivan said. “We’re thankful he’s alive, but we’re grasping with if he’ll ever be back to normal.”

Rios and wife Candace were attending the parade to watch their niece dance as part of a dance team taking part. His daughters said Rios attended nearly every event where his grandchildren participated.

Rios was born and raised in East Los Angeles along with 14 siblings. He moved to Kern County in the 90s, where he worked as an investigator for the Kern County Public Defender’s Office. After retiring, he taught English courses for United Farm Workers in Wasco. He resides in Tehachapi, where he is the caregiver for his wife.

The family is fundraising to help cover medical expenses and future needs for Rios and his wife. You can donate at their Go Fund Me page here. 


If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at