A University of North Carolina student and her boyfriend were on their way to their home in Charlotte after visiting their families in the Wilmington area. The pair of 18-year-olds were going west on U.S. 74 in a Ford Focus on the night of the Super Bowl.
At the very same time, a 38-year-old man had just left a party. Drunk, he got behind the wheel of a 1989 Oldsmobile and sped off in the wrong direction. The two vehicles collided head on just before 1 in the morning. The teens were pronounced dead at the scene of the violent crash that happened this past February. The alleged drunk driver was recently arrested on two counts of second-degree murder and driving while impaired, among other charges.
“I’m just very glad that something’s been done,” said the mother of the young woman who died that night.
She said she knows that charges against the man were withheld until he recovered sufficiently from injuries sustained that night to be released from the hospital. “He was in there for a very long time,” she said. “Honestly, I’m surprised he survived.”
According to a statement released by the prosecutor, the man’s blood alcohol level was at twice the legal limit.
A law enforcement official said the case has been long and difficult. “Two great kids who were only 18 years old” lost their lives in a “senseless” tragedy, he said. “They had their whole lives to look forward to together, which was taken in a split second.”
The driver has previous DWI violations on his record, according to a news report. The Oldsmobile he was driving that night belonged to his half-brother, police said.
The tragedies of that night will never end for the families of the two teens.
In many similar situations, families will file a lawsuit against the drunk driver in order to send a message to all who might try to drive while impaired: you will be held accountable.
In Charlotte, the law firm of Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can help you pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a drunken driver.