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Hampstead man charged with manslaughter for deadly accident

After a deadly car accident near New Hanover County, North Carolina, on U.S. Highway 17 in late November, a 29-year-old Hampstead man has been accused of slamming his vehicle into the back of a Nissan Altima while driving drunk. Police say he was driving at between 80 and 90 mph, double the speed limit. The accident took place in Holly Ridge, and the accused man was being held in jail on $635,000 bond.

There were five occupants in the Altima, and the accident killed a 19-year-old woman. Police have also accused the man of striking an SUV. Fortunately, the people in the SUV and the front seat occupants of the Altima were not injured.

The female victim was a passenger in the backseat of the Altima. After being airlifted to the hospital, the young woman was pronounced brain-dead the following day, though she was kept alive because of her status as an organ donor.

The Holly Ridge Police Department has charged the 29-year-old driver with a laundry list of offenses, including: felony death by motor vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, multiple charges of deadly weapon assault and driving under the influence with an open container of alcohol. He has also been accused of driving with a suspended license, reckless driving and aggressive driving.

The injured people, as well as the estate of the deceased victim, may have the legal basis for a personal injury claim against the man who caused the accident. The tragic loss that took place can never be fully corrected, but the victims and their families will understandably want justice. Beyond seeking monetary damages for the injuries and suffering incurred, all in that position want to send a message that those who drive recklessly will be held accountable to the fullest extent of North Carolina law.

Source: Jacksonville Daily News, "Driver charged with voluntary manslaughter in fatal crash," Lindell Kay, Nov. 27, 2011

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