A moped rider’s death from a head-on collision in Lexington, North Carolina (NC), is being blamed on an on-duty U.S. Postal Service delivery driver’s decision to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The fatal crash happened on Martin Luther King Boulevard at around 5:30 pm on September 6, 2017.
The at-fault driver was using her own Jeep as an unmarked USPS delivery vehicle when she crossed the double yellow line on MLK Boulevard near the intersection with Tussey Street. The moped rider, identified as a 22-year-old man from Thomasville, died from his injuries at the scene. Police charged the Jeep driver with DWI but had no other explanation for why she went left of center on the busy four-lane road.
A sobering lesson taught by this deadly wreck is that drunk and drugged drivers pose serious threats to life and safety at nearly all times and in almost places. Statistics compiled by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles revealed that alcohol use contributed to 11, 487 crashes in the Tar Heel State during 2015. Those DWI wrecks caused 415 deaths and 8,244 injuries. Several of the most serious crashes happened like this one -- with a professional driver at the wheel during a work shift in broad daylight.
Even if the driver who police say is responsible for taking the moped rider’s life in Lexington had not been under the influence, she would have created a life-threatening situation by crossing the double yellow lines in the center of the road. Such lane markings indicate that keeping right is mandatory and no passing or turning is permitted at any time. Drivers, motorcyclists and moped riders suddenly confronting a vehicle coming directly at them after going left of center often have no time or ability to swerve out of the way to avoid a head-on collision.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I offer our condolences to the man killed by the impaired Jeep driver in Lexington. We hope one positive result from this tragedy is that people who learn of it will take to heart the lesson to set down their keys when they choose to drink or to take drugs that make keeping a vehicle in its own lane difficult.