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Car crash may have been intentional, according to police

Three teenagers were injured in a single-car crash in South Carolina on Aug. 14. Police said the driver of the car, an 18-year-old man, intentionally caused the car accident, driving off the road in Hartsville and crashing into a tree. The car was reportedly totaled.

Two of the teenagers inside the vehicle suffered critical injuries and were transported to an area hospital, where they underwent surgery. The third teenager suffered non-life-threatening injuries but also needed surgery.

Police arrested the driver and held him in the Darlington County Detention Center. He is facing charges of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, first-degree harassment and malicious injury to personal property. He could face a prison term of up to 30 years for the attempted murder charge and up to 18 years for the other three charges.

People who suffer critical injuries in car accidents often have to cope with complications from their injuries for the rest of their lives. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal trauma and other injuries may necessitate cognitive rehabilitation, physical or pain management therapy and other costly, long-term treatments. South Carolina has a Crime Victims' Compensation Fund that provides up to $15,000 to victims of violent crimes, but the cost of critically injured victims' treatment may far exceed that amount.

While attempted murder cases often result in criminal penalties, such as prison terms, criminal courts cannot provide victims of violent crimes with compensation for their injuries and other damages. Personal injury attorneys may be able to provide a violent crime victim with information about filing suit against the person who injured them. It may also be possible for victims to sue the owners of vehicles involved in the attempt on their lives.

Source: The South Carolina Legislature, 'South Carolina Code of Laws," Aug. 18, 2014

Source: Carolina Live, "Deputies: Teen intentionally ran car off road, 3 injured", Tonya Brown, August 15, 2014

Source: Carolina Live, "Deputies: Teen intentionally ran car off road, 3 injured", Tonya Brown, August 15, 2014

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