A 20-year-old is facing drunk driving charges following a fatal single-vehicle crash in Union County, North Carolina (NC). The deadly wreck occurred on the night of July 11, 2015, near the intersection of Lancaster Highway and Big Horne Road. At least seven people were in the car, and six individuals survived with injuries of varying severity.
Police told television station WBTV that the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol when she lost control of her vehicle and ran off the road. She then appears to have overcorrected, crossed back over the highway and left the pavement again before crashing into a tree. The passenger who lost her life was 16 years old and had been sitting on the lap of another passenger.
The tragedy highlights the importance of wearing seatbelts, even though North Carolina law does not permit at-fault drivers to escape liability for inflicting injuries or causing deaths by showing that victims were not buckled up. The fatal wreck also shows how much danger drunk drivers pose to passengers. In fact, federal statistics show that nearly one-third of victims hurt and killed in DWI crashes shared a vehicle with the impaired driver.
The crash and resulting fatality was avoidable in multiple ways. The first and biggest mistake that should not have been made, of course, was taking the wheel after becoming intoxicated. Leave aside the fact that the driver is under the legal drinking age. No person who has overindulged should drive. When a person makes the negligent and reckless decision to do so, wrecks that claim lives are literally right around the corner.