Man Receives 18-Year Prison Sentence For Causing Fatal Drugged Driving Collision In Spartanburg County
Clonazepam, also known by its brand name Klonopin, belongs to a category of drugs called benzodiazepines. Its approved medical uses include the treatment of seizures, panic disorder, and clinical anxiety. Even if Klonopin has been prescribed to you, it is not safe to take the drug before driving, because its side effects include drowsiness and poor coordination. The effects of Klonopin usually last between six and 12 hours, but the older the patient is, the longer it takes them to metabolize the drug. An investigation determined that Klonopin played a role in a multi-vehicle accident in which a driver who had taken the drug caused a chain reaction collision in which one person died and several others sustained injuries. If you have been injured in an accident where the at-fault driver was under the influence of benzodiazepines or another kind of prescription medication, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
Driver Was Under the Influence of Klonopin When He Caused Multi-Vehicle Pile-Up
On November 15, 2020, John Fuller was driving on Interstate 85 in Spartanburg County; he had taken Klonopin earlier that day, although the news report on The State website does not specify whether a doctor had prescribed the drug to him. As he approached an area of the highway where there was heavy traffic, the other vehicles slowed down, but Fuller did not reduce his speed. He was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour when his car struck the two cars immediately in front of him, and each of those cars hit the vehicle in front of it. Paul Swick, the driver of one of the cars, died from injuries he sustained in the collision; he was 45 years old. The news report did not say whether Swick was driving one of the vehicles struck directly by Fuller or one of the vehicles struck as a result of the chain reaction.
Fuller was arrested at the scene of the accident; he told police that he had taken Klonopin that day, but he refused to give a urine sample. Tests conducted several hours after the collision revealed that Fuller was under the influence of Klonopin and methamphetamine at the time of the collision. He was charged with DUI resulting in death, and he pleaded guilty to the charge. In April 2022, he received a sentence of 18 years in prison. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence within the walls of a penitentiary before becoming eligible for supervised release. This means that the earliest he can be released is 2038, at which time he will be 56 years old.
Let Us Help You Today
One drugged driver can cause injuries to the occupants of multiple vehicles. The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you recover damages if you suffered severe injuries in a chain reaction collision or multi-vehicle pile-up. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.