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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Greenville County Man Gets Prison Sentence For DUI Crash That Killed Four Seniors

Greenville County Man Gets Prison Sentence For DUI Crash That Killed Four Seniors


In South Carolina and most other states, the blood alcohol content (BAC) at which a person is considered legally drunk is 0.08 percent.  You sometimes read in the news about people getting arrested for DUI or causing an accident when their BAC is twice the legal limit or even more.  The definition of driving under the influence (DUI) includes not only alcohol, but also controlled substances such as prescription drugs and illegal drugs; thus, it is also possible to get arrested for DUI if you driving erratically after taking a drug that was prescribed to you if the drug is known to interfere with a person’s ability to drive, such as by causing drowsiness.  From the perspective of the person in a vehicle, though, it does not matter what substance was causing the driver to make preventable mistakes or how much they drank or smoked or how many pills they took.  If you have been injured by a drunk or drugged driver, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.

Driver Had Suspended License and Was Under the Influence of Methamphetamine and Prescription Drugs

In September 2020, Richard Shane Plowden had a suspended driver’s license, but he continued driving, anyway.  His license had been suspended in 2016 and never reinstated.  On September 11, he was driving a Ford SUV on Highway 14 in Greenville County.  Near the intersection with Cannon Road, Plowden crossed over from the westbound lanes into the eastbound lines and collided head on with a Saturn SUV.  All four occupants of the Saturn died as a result of injuries they sustained in the collision.  The victims were Michael Cook, 83, Nancy Cook, 80, William Norman, 92, and Marsha Norman, 83.  All four victims were pronounced dead at the scene when first responders arrived.

A toxicology test performed on a blood sample taken from Plowden at the scene of the accident revealed that he was under the influence of methamphetamine and several prescription drugs, namely the sleep medication Ambien, the painkiller Oxycodone, and the muscle relaxant nordiazepam.  It is unknown whether any of the drugs had been legally prescribed to him.  In April 2022, Plowden, 47, pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license and four counts of DUI resulting in death.  He received a sentence of 35 years in prison, with credit for the 590 days he spent behind bars between the time of the accident and his sentencing.  This means that, unless he appeals his sentence or becomes eligible for parole, he will get out of prison when he is 81 years old, about the same age as the victims in the collision.

Let Us Help You Today

The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you recover damages if you were injured by a driver who was under the influence of illegal drugs or prescription medications.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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