Three people, including a young boy, suffered serious injuries when an out-of-control driver forced their vehicles off the road in Wake County, North Carolina (NC), on the evening of August 7, 2017. The wreck happened near the intersection of NC 96/Zebulon Road and Martin Road, and the at-fault driver also went to the hospital.
Witnesses told reporters for television station WNCN that they saw a man behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry weaving along NC 96 and throwing beer cans out of his window just before he sideswiped a pickup truck. The state highway through the community of Zebulon has two lanes and is divided by double yellow lines. Steep drop-offs border the highway, leaving drivers little room for errors or forgiveness for inattention.
The impact with the pickup sent the larger vehicle into a ditch while the Camry careened into a Kia SUV. The SUV went into a creek and flipped over. The mother and son inside the overturned vehicle had to be cut free.
Police filed preliminary charges of driving left of center, littering and having improper tires against the man operating the Camry. My Carolina personal injury law firm colleagues and I have written about the dangers posed by worn and unsafe tires, and we would understand if the improper equipment was what initially led the man to lose control.
Law enforcement officials said the driver at fault for this three vehicle wreck in Wake County was not drunk or impaired, but it is unclear whether any of the beer cans thrown from the Camry had been opened. North Carolina, like all other states, make transporting an open container of alcohol an offense similar to driving while impaired.
The charge of driving left of center appears to be the most serious. Section 20-146(a) of the North Carolina Code stipulates that “upon all highways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the highway” except when passing or turning is permitted and can be done safely. The double yellow lines on NC 96 make passing illegal, and the Camry driver was not acting in a way that protected other people’s safely.
Regardless of whether bad tires, distraction from his littering or simple negligence caused the Camry driver to weave and cross the center line, he inflicted serious injuries on others. Holding him accountable for covering medical bills and other damages by filling insurance claims is the victims’ right. Working with an experienced Carolina personal injury lawyer will help them understand and exercise their legal options to secure compensation.