Driving under the influence is being blamed for a two-vehicle crash near Martinsburg, West Virginia (WV), that left two people dead and at least one other person severely injured. The deadly hit-and-run collision occurred between 3 am and 4 am on July 25, 2015, in the community of Bunker Hill. The woman identified as being at fault appears to have fled the scene on foot and was later apprehended at a convenience store about three miles away.
The deceased victims became trapped in their car, which burst into flames at some point. That fire and her other alleged actions have the suspected drunk driver facing criminal charges for DUI resulting in death, fleeing, failing render aid following an accident and obstructing justice.
If all of those accusations prove true, the driver will have committed serious moral and ethical violations in addition to reckless criminal acts. Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is never acceptable, but leaving injured people to suffer and, in this case, die from burns and physical wounds is inexcusable. Regardless of whether the at-fault driver who bears responsibility for a fatal wreck like this one in northwest West Virginia serves jail time, he or she should be made to compensate the families of the people who died needlessly.
Civil law allows the survivors of people who lose their lives due to the reckless or cruel actions of others to seek punitive damages. As monetary fines that penalize individuals for failing to meet basic standards for behaving responsibly and for not taking minimal safeguards to protect lives and health, punitive damages represent an important means for achieving justice.