McDowell, NC - Two Dead, One Injured in Wrong-Way Collision on US-221

Two people ultimately died following a wrong-way collision on Thursday, July 6th on US-221 in McDowell County. According to a local source, one person died at the scene and two more were transported to an area hospital in critical condition following a three-vehicle accident in the area of Quality Stone, just north of Marion. 

What causes wrong-way accidents in North Carolina?

Troopers said that, at about 10:20 a.m., a pickup truck driven by 66-year-old Ricky McPeters from Burnsville, swerved over the center line, striking a 2022 Buick, and then crashing head-on into a 2017 Jeep Cherokee. 

A passenger in the Jeep, 21-year-old Delaney Janet Leierzapf, a resident of Cary, died at the scene. The driver of that same vehicle, Caius Jaymes Arrington, 20, from Bakersville, has since passed away due to the severity of his injuries. 

The four occupants of the Buick, including an infant, were unharmed during the crash. 

It is unclear at this point if speed and/or intoxication were factors in the fatal accident. 

No driver ever expects to look out their windshield and see an oncoming vehicle bearing down on them. In the time it takes you to process what is happening, it is probably too late to avoid the impending collision. The injuries and damages you incur take place in a matter of seconds, but the true consequences of the accident can last a lifetime. Pursuing a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit will be much simpler with an experienced attorney on your side. 

If a wrong-way driver caused your injuries or the death of a family member, the North Carolina wrong-way accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you establish liability and protect your right to financial compensation. Give us a call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. 

How Do Wrong-Way Accidents Happen?

Statistics published by the North Carolina Department of Transportation reveal that drivers who drove the wrong way or crossed over the centerline caused over 9,000 car accidents in 2018. These accidents resulted in 4,107 injuries and 276 fatalities. 

There are several reasons why a driver might cross a median or enter a roadway traveling in the wrong direction, such as:  

Driving While Distracted 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a driver’s eyes are off the road for around five seconds any time they read or send a text message. At a conservative speed of 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.  Other forms of distracted driving include personal grooming, eating, engaging with passengers, and fiddling with vehicle controls and GPS. The CDC’s statistics also show that an average of nine people are killed every day in accidents caused by distracted driving and a further 1,000 are injured.   

Driving While Intoxicated

Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that about 30 people are killed daily in accidents involving intoxicated drivers. Even though a blood-alcohol level of .08% is legal, studies have shown that impaired motor function and judgment can start at levels as low as .02%. 

Driving While Drowsy

A report published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that motor vehicle accidents caused by fatigued drivers occur most between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. In other words, they happen when we are meant to be asleep. An overwhelming majority of accidents caused by fatigued drivers show that the driver made no attempt to brake or avoid the collision in any way. 

If you endured severe injuries or wrongful death caused by a wrong-way driver, a qualified personal injury attorney can help you seek financial damages from the at-fault party.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation 

A wrong-way car accident can cause serious injuries that could stop you from earning a living or enjoying your favorite activities ever again. A wrong-way collision could also result in the death of someone you love. If someone else’s decision to partake in dangerous driving behaviors caused your injuries or the loss of a loved one, you have every right to hold them responsible.

You can schedule your free consultation with an experienced North Carolina wrong-way accident lawyer at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774. We provide the legal advice and guidance needed to see a successful result in your North Carolina wrong-way accident case.  

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