A North Carolina teenager crashed into a house while drunk driving — killing a father of two in his sleep.
The 19-year-old driver, who had been released from jail on bond over an assault charge when the accident happened, is now back behind bars with his bond raised.
In addition to the assault case, he now faces a new set of criminal charges: driving when impaired by alcohol (DWI) and a felony murder charge. Causing a death with a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered murder in North Carolina.
The evidence against the teen is pretty compelling. An officer spotted the teen driving over the speed limit just after midnight on a city street. However, the teenager sped off when the officer tried to stop him. The officer didn’t follow him, pursuant to the police department’s policy, which is designed to reduce the risk to the public in these kinds of events.
Unfortunately, the risk didn’t end there. The teen ultimately lost control of his car after running a stop sign and rammed into the home of the victim.
It’s uncertain what the teenager’s blood alcohol content was at the time of the accident, but it was .12 according to a breathalyzer test taken almost four hours later.
Detectives haven’t finished with their investigation, so there could be more charges to come for the young man. For instance, both of the children in the home that he struck were injured, although their wounds were minor. One was apparently asleep in the same bed with his father when his father was killed.
Tragic accidents like these show how rapidly the situation can spiral out of control when someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated. Even being inside your own home doesn’t necessarily guarantee your safety against a drunk driver.
If you or one of your close family members has been the victim of a car accident involving a drunk driver, make sure that you explore all your legal options before you agree to any insurance settlement offers. You may be able to file a personal injury claim and — in tragic cases like these — a wrongful death claim to recover financially.
Source: CBS North Carolina, “Dad killed when car crashes into downtown Raleigh house; teen charged By CBS North Carolina,” Nov. 27, 2017