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Suspected DUI kills one and injures two

Police reported that a 20-year-old driver killed another motorist and injured two others in a suspected drunk driving crash in the early morning hours of Nov. 2 in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. The driver was arrested for two felony counts relating to this accident.

According to police, the driver of the Chevy Pickup truck was traveling on Riverbank Drive at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. He was behind the victims' Honda and illegally attempted to pass on a double yellow line. He crashed into the Honda as it was making a left turn into a private driveway.

The Orangeburg County Coroner's Office said that the Honda's driver, a 19-year-old Bamberg woman, died from blunt force trauma suffered in the crash. The passengers in that vehicle were transported to Regional Medical Center.

The pickup truck driver faces one count of felony DUI involving death and one count of felony DUI involving great bodily harm, according to police. He was not injured.

This fatality vividly demonstrates that an impaired motorist is a lethal motoring hazard to others, particularly on the weekend. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that the United States suffered 9,878 fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2011 which accounts for 31 percent of the car crash fatalities in this country for that year. In 2011, according to the NHTSA, 31 percent of all drivers involved in fatal accidents were alcohol impaired compared to 15 percent of all drivers during the week. Almost 11 percent of victims were occupants of other vehicles, the NHTSA found, while another 7 percent were pedestrians or bicyclists.

Drunk driving victims will continue to incur serious injuries and financial losses from missing work and incurring medical expenses while families will lose relatives in these accidents. Victims and their families should seek advice to protect their rights and to explore the option of filing a civil action to obtain compensation for their losses from a drunk driving accident.

Source: The Times and Democrat, "Man charged with DUI in fatal crash," Martha Rose Brown, Nov. 2, 2013

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