The Carolina Cycling News earlier this month reported on the tragic death of two cyclists.
A 47 year old father of three and his son were out on their Sunday morning bike ride around 9 a.m. when they were mowed down by a drunk driver. The father was killed instantly; his 17 year old son was rushed to the hospital but died a day later. The teen was 10 days shy of his 18th birthday.
Our personal injury lawyers in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville understand the devastating loss of a loved one to an impaired driver. We know that someone dies at the hands of an impaired driver every 45 minutes.
A witness to the accident had just driven around the two cyclists and then to his horror saw a vehicle swerve into the bike lane. The 63-year old driver struck the two cyclists and didn’t stop. The witness blocked the road and forced the driver to stop.
The driver was arrested at the scene and charged with felony driving while impaired, felony death by motor vehicle, open container, cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 630 cyclists were killed and over 51,000 were injured in 2009. Alcohol involvement, by the cyclist or the driver, was reported in over 40% of the traffic accidents that killed a cyclist in 2009. Only 4 states had more cyclist fatalities than the Carolinas, where 27 riders died in 2009.
Driving while impaired killed almost 11,000 people in 2009 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationally, 38% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. In North Carolina, 33% of traffic fatalities involved alcohol consumption to some extent. Alarmingly, in South Carolina alcohol-related traffic fatalities were reported at 47%.
MADD ranks states (includes DC) based on the percentage of total traffic deaths in 2009 that are alcohol-related (1 = lowest percentage of DUI related deaths, 51 = highest percentage of DUI related deaths.) North Carolina ranks in the top 10. South Carolina ranks in the bottom 10.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Carolina bicycle accident or have been the victim of a drunk driver, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965. Serving Greenville, Charlotte, Anderson and Winston-Salem.