Drunk driving appears to have been the cause of a fatal collision between a car and a moped on Market Street in Wilmington, North Carolina (NC). The deadly accident occurred around 3 am in the block between Forest Hills Drive and 26th Street, and the at-fault driver originally left the scene of the crash before police arrived. The car's driver later contacted law enforcement officials and turned herself in, according to television station WECT 6.
Charges of causing a death while operating a motor vehicle, fleeing an accident scene and driving drunk have been filed against the woman. The moped operator may have been pushing the scooter at the time of the wreck.
This tragedy illustrates two major ways to prevent deaths on North Carolina's roads. The most immediate lesson to learn is that no person should ever get behind the wheel of a car, truck or SUV after drinking too much alcohol. The second is that anyone driving very late at night or very early in the morning must keep a close watch out for pedestrians, disabled motorists and slower, smaller vehicles. The woman who took this moped rider's seems to have ignored both these lessons.
She also came close to needlessly and cruelly compounding the shock and trauma to the deceased man's friends and family by not immediately stopping to offer possible aid and take responsibility for her actions. Surrendering to the police will undoubtedly bring its own consequences, but no one else is left suffering.
As a longtime North Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorney, I have seen too many incidents when people hurt by the negligence and recklessness of hit-and-run drivers remain unable to fully hold the people responsible for causing their wounds and suffering fully accountable. Doing that may still be a challenge following this deadly crash, but it will not be impossible.