A 52-year-old South Carolina man lost his life last September when the van in which he was riding was struck by an out of control jeep. The fatal accident occurred near Surfside Beach. In addition to the fatality, four others riding in the van were injured and transported to the hospital. While the nature and extent of their injuries was not reported, a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased victim’s estate may result.
The driver and a passenger in the northbound jeep were also injured. The vehicle veered over the median of U.S. 17 Business before colliding head on with the southbound van. South Carolina authorities arrested the 18-year-old man said to be driving the Jeep. He was charged with a number of motor vehicle violations as well as felony DUI with injuries and felony DUI with death.
Recently, a Horry County grand jury indicted the teenager. He has been incarcerated since the car accident in lieu of $50,000 bail. There was no information disclosed regarding upcoming court dates or the updated medical status of any of those who were injured in the crash.
This tragedy may spawn a number of lawsuits in addition to the pending criminal action. The surviving family members of the deceased victim retain the right to sue for wrongful death. This type of civil lawsuit is based upon evidence of negligence that is deemed to have caused a fatal accident, and it may be appropriately filed against the Jeep driver and any separate owner of the vehicle he was operating. Similarly, those injured in the crash can move ahead with personal injury claims in much the same manner, seeking reimbursement for damages claimed to have been sustained due to the driver’s alleged negligent actions.
Source: myrtlebeachonline.com, “Horry County grand jury indicts teen in fatal DUI crash near Surfside Beach,” Tonya Root, Feb. 13, 2013
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.