A moped rider died after a pickup truck struck him head-on just south of Fayetteville, North Carolina (NC). The fatal collision happened on Doc Bennett Road, near the overpass for the NC Highway87/I-95 interchange.
A picture accompanying the Fayetteville Observer’s report on this fatal moped wreck shows a two-lane road divided by a double yellow line. The pickup sits feet past a sharp curve marked with a yellow sign alerting drivers to lower their speed to 45 mph. Investigators say the man behind the wheel of the pickup was going 70 mph when he crossed the center line and slammed into the moped rider.
North Carolina, like all states, makes it illegal for people to drive while under the influence of alcohol. The state also marks roadways with double yellow lines to indicate to drivers that they must stay to the right of that lane marker at all times. As noted in the official North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, drivers must never leave their lane
- At intersections in cities and towns or at railroad crossings;
- At marked intersections in rural areas;
- On any curve or hill where the driver cannot see at least 500 feet ahead;
- Wherever there is a solid yellow line in the driver’s lane;
- Wherever there is a double-solid yellow line;
- At intersections or crosswalks where a vehicle has stopped to allow people to cross the street; and
- Wherever the driver cannot see that the road is clear of traffic far enough ahead to pass safely [emphases added].
Being drunk left the pickup driver likely to leave his own lane and head into the path of oncoming vehicles due to inattention and slowed reflexes. Exceeding the maximum safe speed for rounding a curve by 25 mph made it practically impossible to keep right. Simple physics forced the pickup over the double yellow line on Doc Barrett Road south of Fayetteville.
Sadly, my Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues learn anew every day the tragic consequences of combining alcohol, driving and speeding. Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family members of the moped rider who lost his life to such a preventable tragedy.