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Driver sentenced for fatally striking Rock Hill bicyclist

A judge has issued a sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine to a man who pled guilty to a DUI hit-and-run that resulted in the death of a 49-year-old bicyclist from Rock Hill, South Carolina. The drunk driving accident occurred when the driver, who had consumed alcohol and three different medications, hit the bicyclist from behind. The victim was thrown from the bicycle. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later passed away from the injuries sustained in the accident.

The driver responsible for the accident, who was on probation for several previous drug-related incidents, told police that he thought he had struck an animal. Given the seriousness of the drunk driving crash, parole will not be an option.

In a sorrowful moment during the sentencing, the man tearfully apologized to the family of the deceased, who were present for the sentencing. The brother of the victim said that he believed the driver was sorry for his actions.

Yet, as those involved are painfully aware, regret alone cannot resolve the emotional and practical implications of a drunk driving accident. Emotional suffering, funeral costs, and loss of wages are all practical consequences that can result from accidents. When an incident has resulted in death, a wrongful death suit could help alleviate these costs. If a drunk driving accident leaves a victim seriously injured, short- and long- term medical costs and pain and suffering can be heavy burdens. Proper legal action can obtain compensation to help victims and their families deal with these emotional and financial hardships.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Clover man pleads guilty to DUI in fatal hit-and-run," Jamie Self, Feb. 28, 2012

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