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Head-on crash in South Carolina leads to DUI charges

A head-on car accident earlier this month led to the filing of felony drunk driving charges against a pick-up truck driver and hospitalization of another driver. The South Carolina Highway Patrol Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is still investigating the details of this accident.

The crash occurred at Forestbook Road in Horry County at 3:30 p.m. according to the Highway Patrol. A 57-year-old driver from Myrtle Beach was driving north when his pick-up truck crossed the center line and slammed head-on into a mini-van traveling southbound.

Both drivers suffered injuries although they wore seatbelts. After being extricated from her mini-van, the 54-year-old victim was transported by air to Grand Strand Regional. The pick-up truck driver was taken to Grand Station Regional Medical Center by EMS. Details concerning his injuries were not reported.

Police charged the pickup truck driver with felony DUI and driving under suspension for this alleged drunk driving accident. However, other alcohol-related criminal charges are pending for earlier alleged offenses.

He was also charged in April 2013 with DUI, disorderly conduct, leaving the scene of an accident and following a vehicle too closely after a crash on Highway 501 at Myrtle Ridge Drive. He rear-ended another car's bumper when it stopped for traffic and left the accident before police arrived, according to booking records for the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. His vehicle registration and driving privileges would be suspended if he is convicted for the most recent charges. Public intoxication charges were also filed against him in April 2012.

These accidents are symptomatic of the threat that alcohol-related crashes continue to pose to motorists and pedestrians. Alcohol-impaired drivers were on the road about 112 million times in 2010 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found that these drivers were involved in one-third of crash deaths.

A driver or pedestrian injured by a drunk driver should seek guidance concerning their rights to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, wrongful death and other losses. The establishment that served a drunk driver may also have Dram shop liability. Guidance should be sought promptly to assure that evidence is obtained and lawsuit filing deadlines are met.

Source: WMBF, "Felony DUI has history of traffic charges," June 18, 2013

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