Although residents near the Fayetteville intersection wonder why authorities didn’t take action sooner to address long-standing issues with problematic traffic, authorities have arrested a 22-year-old man. He faces five felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, DUI, reckless driving to endanger the public, driving left of the center line and operating a vehicle with unsafe tires.
The alleged at-fault driver, who was operating a 2000 Ford Mustang at the time of the collision, had five passengers in his vehicle, four of whom were killed. Those included: A 15-year-old girl, a 17-year-old girl, a 24-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman. They had been coming from a pool party, and thus were all wearing bathing suits. Because none of them had identification on them, it made it difficult for authorities to identify them.
The fifth person killed was the mother of three, who was killed when the Mustang struck her Kia. A third driver, a 29-year-old male who was driving a Crown Victoria, was treated and released at a local hospital.
Residents were incredulous that there still is not a traffic light at this particular intersection, which has been problematic in recent years. An analysis by CBS North Carolina revealed there had been six reported car accidents at the intersection in less than two years.
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NDOT) say they reviewed the intersection four years ago and will likely do so again after this crash. Of particular concern is that while the speed limit is set at 45 mph, motor vehicles routinely zip by at a much faster clip.
The two motorists struck by the allegedly drunk driver were traveling the posted speed limit, according to accident reconstructionists. However, the at-fault driver was allegedly moving at a “high rate of speed,” according to authorities. On estimate was that he was traveling about 70 mph. He lost control of his car and it turned sideways and flipped. It struck the Kia then flew up in the air before slamming into the Crown Victoria.
Although one witness indicated he believed the at-fault driver was racing, police have since said that does not appear to be the case. He was, however, traveling very fast.
At least two of the victims in the Mustang were siblings. A friend told reporters their mother had died just weeks ago.
Veteran police investigators characterized this crash as hands-down the worst they had ever seen.
In a case like this, injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys should explore every potential avenue of compensation, starting with the allegedly impaired driver. Given the number of victims, it’s unlikely his insurance policy alone will be enough to fully cover damages. At that point, others involved – including passengers – will want to explore the possibility of underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This coverage can be obtained even if the insured wasn’t the one driving, and it can make up the difference between one’s losses and the insurance available from the at-fault driver’s coverage.
We may also want to explore the possibility of action against the DOT or other authority if there is evidence officials failed to take action to protect motorists from a dangerous intersection.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Fayetteville police file charges after 5 killed in ‘devastating’ crash, July 1, 2016, CBS North Carolina
More Blog Entries:
Fatal Car Accident Prompts Federal Investigation, July 22, 2016, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog