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Faulty brakes suspected cause of pedestrian fatality

Pedestrians may suffer serious injuries and death from the actions of a reckless or negligent driver or from defective equipment on a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 4,432 pedestrians killed in this country while an estimated 69,000 were injured. This equals a pedestrian death every two hours and an injury every eight minutes in a pedestrian accident. Pedestrians over 65-years-old suffered 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10 percent of all pedestrians injured in that year. South Carolina sustained 113 pedestrian deaths during that year, according to the NHTSA.

A 32-year-old driver was issued a $100,000 bond on a reckless homicide charge resulting from the death of a 76-year-old pedestrian outside the Northwoods Mall on Sept. 3 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The suspect's girlfriend said that the driver was leaving the gym and driving for school at Trident Tech. According to police, his GMC Envoy struck the victim at 11:00 a.m. He called first-responders and told them that the victim was bleeding profusely. Police said that her body was found in the roadway. She later died at Medical University of South Carolina from injuries suffered in the accident, according to Charleston County Coroner's Office.

Mechanics told police that the suspect's SUV may have had inoperable brakes. New rotors were needed on the front along with upper ball joints.

The presiding judge referred to the suspect's criminal record at the hearing. There were arrests for speeding, careless operation, drug possession and weapons charges. He was incarcerated in the Charleston County Detention Center.

Pedestrians that are hit by a car and injured by a negligent or irresponsible driver may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and other losses caused by the crash. Families may be compensated for the death of a relative through a civil wrongful death action. In cases like this one, experts should be consulted on the role that defective equipment that may have played in the crash.

Source: WCSC, "Fatal auto-pedestrian wreck an 'honest accident,' family says," Debi Chard, Sept. 4, 2013

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Greenville, SC 29601

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