A wrong-way driver suspected of being drunk is being blamed for causing a fatal wrong-way collision in Hillsborough, North Carolina (NC). The deadly head-on crash occurred at around 3 am on July 19, 2015, on I-85 near the I-40 split.
The at-fault driver, identified as a 20-year-old, was behind the wheel of a Jeep. The deceased victims were two adults and a 6-year-old in the car the allegedly impaired driver hit. Another child traveling in the car survived the wreck with severe injuries. No charges were immediately filed, as police waited for results from blood alcohol tests and continued collecting evidence during the day following the apparent DUI/DWI fatalities.
Individuals who enter an interstate going in the wrong direction are often under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Confusing an exit ramp for an on ramp can become simple when a person's vision and decision-making capacity get clouded by intoxicants. Sadly, those mistakes can then turn deadly because people traveling in the correct direction do not expect to encounter oncoming vehicles. Add highway speeds and nighttime conditions, and crashes almost become inevitable.
If investigators find that the young man driving the Jeep was drunk, the fatal head-on collision will take its place in the depressingly long line of avoidable tragedies created by people who never should have taken the wheel of a car, truck or SUV. The fact that the person responsible for the crash outside of Durham had not yet reached legal drinking age will represent just a doubly unnecessary risk factor.