According to a recent news article from The Citizen Times, prosecutors charged a 60-year-old man in connection with a car accident in which his mother was killed. Authorities in Asheville report 60-year-old defendant failed to stop at a stop sign and drove through an intersection while another car was traveling through the same intersection.
When defendant’s car entered the intersection, it collided with another vehicle, causing serious bodily injury to the driver. Officers say the exact cause of the accident is still under investigation, and they intend to use the vehicle’s onboard data recorder to determine what was happening with defendant’s car prior to the fatal collision.
Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand most modern vehicles contain some form of data recorder, which authorities can use to learn information about what was going on prior to a crash. In some ways, it is similar to a “black box” located in a commercial airliner, which we always hear about following a plane crash. However, while a car’s onboard data recorder can often tell the speed of the vehicle and whether brakes were applied, its functionality is more limited than what is installed in a commercial airliner. For example, there is no voice recording, and there are many car features and controls not subject to recording.
When police and first responders arrived at the scene, they attempted to treat defendant’s mother for serious injuries, including a broken back and severe internal damage. She was transported to a local hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Authorities also allege defendant was driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, and prosecutors initially charged him with felony serious bodily injury by vehicle, driving while impaired (DWI), and driving with a suspended license. After defendant’s mother died, prosecutors amended charges to include aggravated felony death by vehicle. The aggravated nature of a charge is known as a statutory enhancement, which allows for a harsher sentence. He was eligible for this enhancement, because he allegedly had prior drunk driving charges on his record within the past seven years.
It is important to note, defendant has not been convicted of any crime and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty by a judge or jury. Currently, defendant is being held in a county jail on a $20,000 secured bail bond.
If a victim is killed while riding as a passenger in alleged at-fault driver’s car, and victim’s estate is seeking compensation for their loss, it may be necessary to make a claim against defendant. Essentially, it may be necessary to sue a friend for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and other special damages. While this is clearly not a position anyone would want to be in, it is sometimes the only way to collect a fair and appropriate financial settlement, as at-fault driver’s insurance company may be reluctant to pay. At-fault driver may also have a homeowner’s insurance plan or other assets, which could provide a source of funds from which victim’s estate could recover.
Contact the Asheville injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Man charged after Asheville wreck that killed his mother, April 20, 2015, Citizen Times
More Blog Entries:
Fatal Greenville Crash Blamed on Wrong-Way Driver, Possibly Drunk, March 9, 2015, Asheville Car Accident Lawyer Blog