An early morning trip described as a "midnight joyride" by local television stations turned deadly and disabling for a group of North Carolina teenagers on September 14, 2014.
The crash, during which the pickup truck in which the eight tens were traveling ran off the road and turned over into a ditch. occurred shortly before 2 am along Holden Beach Road in the town of Supply, NC. A 17-year-old boy who had been riding in the truck's bed died from injuries he suffered when slamming into the cab. Another girl riding in the back of the pickup survived being ejected from the vehicle but awoke from emergency surgery paralyzed. The other people involved in the accident sustained injuries ranging from broken bones to cuts.
The 17-year-old driver was not impaired by alcohol, but he was tested for drug use. Police also need to determine whether speeding, fatigue or distraction played a role in causing the fatal accident. Statistics show that young drivers run greater risks for crashing when they have passengers who are also in their teens.
As a Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorney, I have seen many times how losing control of a pickup and rolling over can cause deaths and permanent disabilities. Automakers and federal regulators have taken steps to make the vehicles more steerable and stable, but risks for flipping and suffering critical injuries can never be reduced to zero. The best protections are for people to stay out of the bed when a truck is moving and for drivers to act safely and responsibily.