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Driver in fatal accident was unlicensed

Three employees of a contractor for the South Carolina Department of Transportation were hit by a pickup truck that drove off the side of the road in Greenville County's neighboring Spartanburg County. All three were injured in the accident. One 47-year old worker later died due to severe internal injuries. The driver of the pickup has been charged with driving too fast for conditions and not having a South Carolina driver's license.

The accident happened last month on Interstate 85 near Cowpens, at around 9:55 a.m. The men who were hit were employees of a contractor hired to mow grass along the Interstate. The 50-year old driver responsible for the accident was driving a pickup owned by another person when he veered off the right side of the road and hit a parked vehicle owned by the contracting company, and then hit the three employees. He was not injured in the crash. The owner of the pickup truck was ticketed for allowing an unauthorized and unlicensed driver operate his vehicle.

When drivers encounter a work zone on South Carolina's highways it is the law that they reduce their speed accordingly and if possible change lanes away from the area being worked on. However, in this situation, the area had not been marked with the necessary warning signs and lights because maintenance workers are not protected under the "move over" law like state emergency personnel.

This case is especially tragic because a man lost his life, due to a reckless driver, while he was simply at work doing his job. Although the pickup driver will likely be punished for his actions through the criminal justice system, he could also face a civil lawsuit for wrongful death brought by the victim's family. Those who lose a loved one due to someone else's negligence may well be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages and should consult an experienced Greenville County personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit.

Source: The Go Upstate News, "Fatal accident on I-85 near Cowpens," Jenny Arnold, Oct. 12, 2011

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