Greenville Man Faces Charges for DUI Vehicular Homicide and Hit and Run After Crashing into Pedestrians at Traffic Stop
The risk of getting hit by a drunk or drugged driver exists any time you get into a car, or indeed any time you set foot outside your house. South Carolina has an alarmingly high rate of car accidents involving driving under the influence, consistently ranking in the top ten, above much more populous states. Nearly one in every three fatal crashes in South Carolina in 2018 involved alcohol. The only other states with a higher rate of DUI fatalities, relative to population, are Montana and Wyoming. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol slows a person’s reaction time. That means that a driver with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit is less likely to notice a pedestrian or oncoming vehicle in his or her path in time to avoid a collision. If you have been injured in a car accident in which alcohol was a factor, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.
Commercial Driver Killed and State Transport Police Officer Injured by Impaired Driver
On December 2, Cpl. Joseph Hand of the State Transport Police pulled over Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jr., a commercial driver, for a traffic stop. While the two were standing outside Hand’s patrol car, a passing car struck both men. The impact caused Hawthorne to fall into a traffic lane, where another car could not avoid hitting him. Hawthorne, 49, died of his injuries, and Hand was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver who struck Hawthorne and Hand got out of his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but police arrested him a short time later. Allen Zack, 34, is currently being held without bail at the Greenville Detention Center. Zack, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, is facing the following criminal charges in connection with Hawthorne’s death and Hand’s injuries:
- Felony DUI resulting in death
- Felony DUI resulting in serious bodily injury
- Hit and run involving death
- Hit and run involving serious bodily injury
- Two counts of possession of illegal drugs
Zack has previously gotten into legal trouble for driving under suspension and for drug-related offenses, but it is unclear if this is his first DUI.
Legal Options for Injured Victims of DUI Crashes
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extraordinarily dangerous. If you file a personal injury lawsuit against the impaired driver who injured you, it will be easy to prove the driver’ negligence. Hawthorne’s family certainly has grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against Zack. Whether the driver can pay you the damages you are requesting is a different story, though. Sometimes the party in the best position to cover your medical expenses and other financial losses is an insurance company. As for Cpl. Hand, since he is a police officer injured in the line of duty, his medical expenses are most likely covered by his employer.
Contact Us Today for Help
A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you if you have been hit by a car where the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.