A driver who wrecked his vehicle, killing his passenger, recently pleaded guilty to charges related to the accident. He could face up to 15 years behind bars for his felony DUI charge. However, for West Virginia families who must deal with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, a criminal conviction may not be enough.
The wreck occurred back in May 2017, when the 29-year-old driver allegedly got behind the wheel of his friend’s vehicle. He was apparently driving his friend — the owner of the vehicle — home. However, witnesses told police that they spotted the vehicle traveling at extremely high rates of speed just prior to the wreck, and his passenger sent texts to his wife, stating that he was worried about the speed at which the driver was going. One police officer spotted the vehicle traveling at upwards of 95 mph.
Unfortunately, at some point, the driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with a large wall at anywhere between 60 to 80 mph. The passenger was transported to an area hospital for treatment, but he died a short while later. Police discovered that the driver’s blood-alcohol content was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal 0.08 limit. The driver also allegedly told someone that the only thing he remembered before crashing into the wall was his friend asking him to pull over and allow him to drive instead.
The unexpected death of a loved one from a drunk driving accident is never easy. Not only is there the typical grieving process, but West Virginia families are often forced to take on unexpected funeral expenses, medical bills and other related costs. This can be extremely difficult for those who are already dealing with a terrible situation, but the successful actions of a wrongful death suit can help these families achieve necessary compensation and justice.