Driver Faces Felony Charges for DUI Crash That Killed Motorcyclist and Passenger
The rate of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from car accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past few decades. Traffic safety laws and safety standards for vehicles have helped to make the roads safer. Even motorcycle riding, which is much more dangerous than traveling by car, due to the lack of protection a motorcycle offers you in a crash, has become a lot less likely to lead to death or serious injury. Drunk driving is still a major contributor to traffic fatalities, and riding a motorcycle without a helmet also increases the likelihood of disastrous consequences, even though both of these are against the law. If you have suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, contact a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer.
Couple Killed in Motorcycle Crash in Laurens
In September 2019, Tony Hall, 53, and April Lewis, 49, were riding on Hall’s motorcycle in Laurens, when Jose Reyes Cruz crashed his 2009 Honda into the motorcycle. Cruz and both the occupants of the motorcycle were taken to the hospital, but Hall and Lewis died of their injuries shortly after they arrived. Hall and Lewis had not been wearing helmets at the time of the accident, and Cruz was under the influence of alcohol, according to the results of an investigation.
Cruz was released from the hospital two days after the accident, at which time Laurens police arrested him and charged him with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death. As soon as he got out of the hospital, police took him to the Laurens County Detention Center and held him there without bond.
What Options Do the Victims’ Families Have?
Cruz, like all defendants in criminal cases, has the right to the presumption of innocence. He cannot be given a prison sentence or any other criminal penalty unless he pleads guilty or unless a jury is sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he caused the fatal crash because of his impaired driving. Even if he is acquitted or if his charges are dropped, the families of Tony Hall and April Lewis have the right to file a civil lawsuit against Cruz or any other party they consider responsible for causing the accident or failing to prevent it. They can request economic damages for the financial support the victims would have given them if they had lived and noneconomic damages for the pain of losing a family member. News outlets have not published any reports about civil lawsuits being filed in connection to this motorcycle accident.
Let Us Help You Today
A Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer can help you recover damages for your financial losses and your physical and emotional pain that resulted from a motorcycle accident, even if you were not wearing a helmet when the collision occurred. Contact The Stanley Law Group for a consultation on your case.