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Horry County crashes kill pedestrian and injure bicyclists

Two auto-pedestrian crashes caused the death of a pedestrian and injured two bicyclists in Horry County, South Carolina on one Monday evening in August. Drunk driving is suspected in both accidents.

A 42-year-old driver from Myrtle Beach struck and killed a pedestrian walking north on Highway 501 and Robert Grissom Parkway. Myrtle Beach Police were called to the crash just before midnight. The driver was charged with driving under the influence. Police said that this charge was this driver's first offense.

A 45-year-old driver from Myrtle Beach also hit two bicyclists on Highway 707 and then drove away from the bicycle accident, according to police. The suspect was ultimately charged with driving under the influence when State Troopers caught up with him. The bicyclists were transported to area hospitals but their conditions have not been disclosed.

Earlier this year, another bicyclist was struck and killed in Horry County as he rode his bike along Carolina Forest Boulevard. Police are still investigating this earlier accident and there has been no determination on whether the driver was impaired.

As these accidents vividly demonstrate, alcohol and driving is dangerous, if not fatal, to pedestrians and bicyclists who have virtually no protection against vehicles except for the minimal protection provided by bicycle helmets. Alcohol involvement for a driver or pedestrian, in fact, was involved in 47 percent of traffic fatalities in 2010 according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Pedestrians and bicyclists that are hit by a car and injured by a negligent or impaired driver may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and other losses caused by the crash. An establishment that served alcohol to an impaired driver may also have liability to victims and their families. Accident victims and their families should promptly seek legal advice to assure that their rights are protected, evidence is obtained and time periods for filing legal actions are met.

Source: WMBF News, "DUI collisions in Horry County increase in 2013," Lauren Weppler, Aug. 13, 2013

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