Driving while under the influence is a serious offense that puts the life and limb of other motorists and pedestrians at risk. A Fayetteville, North Carolina, woman who made the choice to drink and drive is learning this lesson the hard way.
During the early morning hours of Nov. 12, 2012, a 48-year-old woman was driving down Calamar Drive reportedly looking for yard sales. A 43-year-old soldier Fort Bragg soldier was in front of his home where he had just finished readying his Toyota Tundra truck for a fishing trip.
At roughly 2:10 a.m., the woman's Ford Taurus slammed into the back of the truck with enough force that the rear of the truck lifted up and came down on the hood of her car. As a result of the car accident, the soldier was pinned between the two vehicles for roughly one hour while his wife looked on. He suffered from internal injuries and severe injuries to his right arm, including the partial loss of his right hand, and subsequently had to undergo amputation of both legs above the knees.
He was eventually transferred from his emergency medical care in North Carolina to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in another state where he remained until February 2013 before returning home. He continues to undergo daily occupational and physical therapy.
The woman was found to have a blood alcohol content of .10, which is higher than North Carolina's .08 limit, and was found to have alcohol and cocaine in her system. On April 9, 2013, she was sentenced to a prison term of 16 to 29 months with credit for time served, the maximum allowable sentence for a Class F felony for someone who has no prior record. The judge also recommended that she under substance abuse treatment and a mental health evaluation during her confinement.
The soldier who was injured in this incident had been with the Army for more than 20 years and was selected for the position of command sergeant major for Fort Bragg's 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). His career is now over, and he has a lifetime of special needs ahead of him. This is a case where legal counsel for the injured party may be able to seek compensatory and punitive damages to help defray medical costs and reimburse him for at least some of the lifetime earnings he will lose.
Source: The Fayatteville Observer, "Fayetteville woman sentenced for DWI crash that injured Fort Bragg soldier" Michael Futch, Apr. 10, 2014