Most drivers involved in an accident that injures their passenger would immediately stop and summon aid for their friend or relative. However, according to reports from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, an Asheville man stands accused of doing just the opposite.
On a recent Sunday morning at approximately 6 a.m. in Henderson County, the 40-year-old man lost control of his vehicle on Route 25. His car slammed into the guardrail, smashing the doors inward and crushing his 28-year-old passenger, also of Asheville. The impact caused fatal injuries to the passenger, but rather than stopping, the driver allegedly drove over 10 miles with the body of his dead friend beside him before he finally abandoned the car alongside Interstate 26 by Upward Road.
A state trooper saw a wrecked and abandoned car on the interstate about a half hour after the accident occurred and investigated further. Reports from the state police indicate that the driver called somebody to give him a ride. That car was stopped on Tracy Grove Road at approximately 9:30 a.m., and the driver of the wrecked car was arrested on charges that included felony hit-and-run and DWI. More charges are pending in the fatal accident. He was taken to the Henderson County Jail, where he remains on a bond of $400,000.
Certainly most people would make different choices given the same set of circumstances, but the fact that the driver was charged with DWI suggests that his judgment may have been impaired by his inebriated condition. Nonetheless, he will have to face the criminal charges resulting from his poor decisions. For the relatives of the passenger who died, no amount of jail time given to the driver will bring back their loved one. However, the North Carolina civil court system provides them with a venue for pursuing a cause of action against the driver and his insurance company should they opt to do so.
Source: WLOS, “Man charged after fatal wreck,” June 30, 2014