A North Carolina man is on trial in Wilmington and facing several charges after causing a fatal car accident. A father and son had been training outdoors one spring morning when they were struck by the man's car. The driver was charged with two counts of felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of second-degree murder and other related charges. The tragic case highlights the potential car accident dangers of driving while under any type of impairment.
Prior to entering his vehicle on the day of the accident, the man admits to snorting mephedrone, also known as bath salts. Although acknowledging that he felt foggy by using the synthetic stimulant, he testified at his trial that he did not believe the stimulant impaired his ability to operate a vehicle. He has also admitted to drinking Bacardi 151, but again, he maintains that he did not feel impaired.
On his way back home, the man says he decided to make a phone call. He testified that he heard a loud noise and glass breaking as he reached for his phone in the car. He stopped his vehicle, saw the victims, but did not render aid.
The prosecutor in this case argued that the man's actions in drinking and snorting a synthetic stimulant constituted reckless behavior that was inherently dangerous to human life. When people use roadways in Wilmington and throughout North Carolina, they assume that those sharing the roadways with them will exercise a reasonable duty of care. Within this case, authorities may determine that the motorist was negligent and careless.
The surviving family may have a legal basis to file a wrongful death claim in connection with the fatal car accident. Whether or not the man is found criminally responsible, seeking financial compensation may allow the family to recoup costs associated with the deaths. While nothing will bring their family members back to life, holding negligent parties accountable may serve as a small sense of justice.
Source: Star News Online, "Grooms testifies at murder trial; jurors deliberate," F.T. Norton, March 27, 2012