Preliminary charges of causing a death while operating a motor vehicle and failing to yield right of way have been filed against a pickup truck driver in the wake of a deadly wreck in Newport, North Carolina (NC). The crash occurred on the night of June 20, 2015, near the intersection of Highway 24 and Carpenters Road in a section of the mainland corner of the southern tip of the Outer Banks known as Old Croatan.
According to the pickup driver's own admission, as reported by CarolinaCoastOnline.com, the man turned left in front of two motorcycle riders in an attempt to make a U-turn through a parking lot. One of the motorcyclist got ejected from his bike and slammed into the side of the pickup. That rider died.
Police responding to the crash tried to administer an alcohol breath test to the truck driver, but he refused, requiring investigators to file a subpoena for a hospital-administered blood test. If evidence shows that the at-fault driver was operating under the influence of alcohol, additional criminal charges may be sought. Establishing DUI could also change the nature of insurance claims and any resulting wrongful death lawsuit.
A careless left turn, made without checking one's blind spot or correctly gauging the distance and speed of following motorcycles, constitutes negligence. Taking the wheel after becoming intoxicated, however, usually gets treated as a reckless act since the person who does that exhibits disregard for the health and lives of others. Reckless driving can justify requesting and awarding punitive damages, which stands as noncriminal fines over and above monetary compensation for medical costs, funeral expenses and financial losses.