Three victims in a fatal North Carolina car accident died of their injuries this week. According to media reports, a pickup truck was going south on US 17 in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina on Feb. 15 near NC 904 when the driver swerved into the left turn lane and hit a van.
The van had an elderly couple inside, and it flew across the highway and was struck by two cars. The husband and wife were both 82 and died of their injuries at Grand Strand Hospital. A passenger in one of the other cars also died from her injuries.
Three others injured in the crash have been released from the hospital. The driver of the pickup truck, a 31 year old from Wilmington, has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle. The North Carolina State Police reported that alcohol was a likely factor in the accident.
The alleged drunk driver suffered minor injuries. After he was treated and released from the hospital, he was booked in the Horry County Jail.
Even though there are much tougher drunk driving laws today and a lot more education about the dangers of DUI, there are still too many drunk driving accidents in America. In 2015, there were 10,265 people killed by drunk drivers. This was 300% higher than 2014.
The CDC states that 30 people are killed in DUI crashes every day. This is one death every hour or so. Also, another 170,000 people are injured by intoxicated drivers. So every 90 seconds, there is a person hurt in a DUI crash.
For drunk driving victims who live, the typical cost for their injuries is $99,000. The quality of life loss is $50,000 and the financial costs are $49,000. But as personal injury attorneys in North Carolina and Virginia, we know that the costs can be much higher.
One of our drunk driving verdicts involved a very serious DUI accident where our client suffered anoxic brain damage, collapsed lung, traumatic pancreatic, respiratory failure, hemorrhagic shock, internal bleeding, and gallbladder removal. The DUI driver’s insurance company wanted to settle the case, but our client wanted to see a verdict in the terrible accident case. She eventually won a DUI case verdict for $3.5 million. While that money will help her recovery, she will never be the same. We encourage all drivers to never drive drunk in North Carolina or any other state.