Swansea Man Faces Felony Charges After Fatal DUI Crash
South Carolina has one of the highest rates of drunk driving in the United States. Only Montana and Wyoming have more DUI accidents per capita. Alcohol is a factor in almost a third of fatal car accidents in South Carolina, which is still alarming, even though the rate of traffic fatalities has decreased a lot since laws against drunk driving went into effect. People who drive after drinking alcohol endanger not only themselves, but also everyone else on the road. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of evidence required in criminal cases is designed to protect defendants against being punished for crimes they did not commit, but it also means that many people who cause DUI accidents never receive criminal penalties because of it. Whether or not the drunk driver who injured you was charged with DUI in criminal court, you still have the right to seek damages in a civil lawsuit. A South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you choose the best option for recovering financially after your accident.
Swansea High School Alum Dies in Collision with Drunk Driver
Juan Carlos Chavero moved to South Carolina as a child and graduated from Swansea High School. Friends describe him as a family man who was known for his generosity and his willingness to help people. His work as a repairman led him to travel all across South Carolina, but around his hometown of Swansea, he often repaired neighbors’ decks or houses without asking for payment. In June 2020, Chavero was driving his pickup truck on Highway 66, when a Nissan drifted across the center lane and collided head-on with his vehicle. Chavero, who had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 38 years old.
Jason Gregory, 44, has been charged with felony DUI resulting in a fatality. Gregory, who was also not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, was also injured, but his injuries were not life-threatening, and he was taken to the Lexington County Jail after undergoing treatment at a hospital. Gregory pleaded not guilty and was being held at the jail until his trial. News reports about the outcome of his trial have not been published.
According to the Lexington Ledger, Chavero’s family held an online fundraiser to help pay for funeral expenses. His death was likely financially devastating to the people closest to him, as well as emotionally devastating. The family has not publicly announced any plans to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in connection to the car accident that claimed Chavero’s life, but they have the right to file such a lawsuit in civil court, whether or not Gregory is convicted in his criminal case.
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