Assigning fault and liability for a two-car accident on I-85 through Davidson County, North Carolina (NC), that left a 3-year-old girl dead and three members of a family hospitalized with injuries may be difficult without a lengthy investigation and possible court case. The deadly crash occurred near the NC 47 interchange at around 2:45 am on May 1.
The driver of the lead car in the rear-end collision south of Lexington, NC, identified in multiple news reports as Pedro Cuanas, admitted to police that he fell asleep at the wheel shortly before the trailing car made impact. It is unclear why the Cuanas could not stay awake. Additional information collected shortly after the fatal wreck indicated that he may have been impaired after drinking alcohol at a family party to celebrate the baptism of the toddler who lost her life.
The little girl was riding in the backseat of the sleeping driver's car with her mother and two other children. Those three other passengers survived with serious injuries. Both drivers walked away from the crash in Davidson County unscathed.
Besides DUI/DWI, other possible explanations for why Cuanas fell asleep while driving could include the late hour and a medical condition that rendered him excessively fatigued. Finding a clear answer will provide only half of the story of the crash, however. Still left to be determined is why the driver of the second car, Michael Watkins, was unable to recognize and avoid the slowing vehicle ahead of him. Watkins may also have been drifting off behind the wheel, driving distractedly or himself under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
All the questions about causes and complicating factors must be answered in order for the mother who lost her young daughter while also getting injured herself to hold the person who inflicted her suffering accountable. She may find it helpful to consult with an experienced and caring Carolina wrongful death attorney while the investigation continues. A legal ally and champion will make sure she stays up to date on the details and that her rights to seek compensation from one or both drivers are not compromised.