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South Carolina teen dies in crash, driver charged with DUI

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office recently charged a 20-year-old man with felony DUI following a fatal accident. The August 16 crash reportedly happened at about 12:30 p.m. on River Road.

According to authorities, the 20-year-old man was traveling at a high speed on River Road in a Chevrolet Equinox when he lost control of the vehicle and collided head-on with a Jeep Compass near Main Road. The 17-year-old driver of the Jeep suffered fatal injuries and died on the scene, authorities reported.

Officials reported that the man evinced multiple signs of intoxication immediately following he crash, including slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Since he too suffered injuries in the car accident, the 20-year-old man was unable to perform field sobriety tests, officials said. Emergency personnel transported him to Medical University of South Carolina, where he remained in recovery as of August 19.

Police detained the man on felony DUI charges while he was in the hospital. He is also facing a charge of minor in possession of beer.

Certain family members of people killed in drunk-driving accidents may be entitled to financial compensation via civil action. Provided that they retain a wrongful death attorney and file suit against the at-fault driver, a jury may award these bereaved family members restitution for burial costs, estate administration expenses, lost earnings and other pecuniary damages stemming from the sudden death of their loved one.

In order to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit, bereaved family members and their attorney must prove to a civil court that the at-fault driver should be held liable for the accident. If successful, the defendant in the lawsuit may be held financially responsible for the fatal accident, even if he or she is also facing criminal charges in connection to the same incident.

Source: WCSC, "Man, 20, charged with felony DUI in Johns Island teen's death", Phillip Weiss, August 19, 2014

Source: WCSC, "Man, 20, charged with felony DUI in Johns Island teen's death", Phillip Weiss, August 19, 2014

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