Driver Found Not Guilty in Charleston County Street Racing Crash That Devastated Two Families
Street racing looks exhilarating in the movies, but in real life, its results can be devastating. The faster a car is moving, the easier it is to lose control of the car, and the more serious the damage will be if the car collides with another vehicle or any other object. If you are lucky enough to survive a street racing crash, you are likely to face criminal charges. In 2017, a street racing crash caused three fatalities and left four children with serious injuries. In the resulting criminal case, the car found the surviving driver who had participated in the street race not guilty of causing the deaths and injuries. The injured victims and the families of the victims who were killed still have the option of seeking damages in a civil lawsuit related to the street racing incident. If you have been injured in a car accident that resulted from street racing or any other kind of very reckless behavior, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.
Court Acquits Driver for His Role in Fatal Street Racing Crash
On May 13, 2017, Lawrence Ravenel of Ladson and his cousin Elijah Simmons raced their cars on Dorchester Road in North Charleston. Ravenel’s Nissan Maxima and Simmons’ Camaro quickly exceeded the speed limit and, in fact, any reasonably safe speed. Ravenel eventually outpaced Simmons, whose car’s black box indicated that the car was traveling 99 miles per hour just before he crashed. After Ravenel passed him, Simmons sideswiped a CARTA bus full of passengers and then crashed into a Buick. Simmons died in the collision, as did two of the occupants of the Buick, namely Neil Holmes, who was driving, and Phyllis Hughes, who was a passenger. Hughes’ four grandchildren were also riding in the Buick at the time of the collision; they were transported to a hospital to receive treatment for their injuries. It does not appear that any passengers in the bus were seriously injured.
Ravenel, 49, received criminal charges in connection to the crash, including hit-and-run, racing, and reckless homicide. In December 2019, Ravenel effectively had the charges dropped when a judge acquitted him of all charges without a jury trial.
The Post and Courier did not specify whether any civil lawsuits have been filed in connection to the crash. The victims might be able to argue that Ravenel’s negligence, by participating in the race, caused their losses. It is possible to recover damages in a civil lawsuit connected to a hit-and-run crash even if the driver who left the scene is acquitted, or even if there are no criminal charges.
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If the driver who collided with your car was traveling at a dangerously high speed at the time of the crash, a Columbia car accident lawyer might be able to help you recover damages. Contact The Stanley Law Group for a consultation on your case.