Alcohol blamed for head-on collisions that kill three on I-485

Head-on collisions generally involve a serious driving error by at least one of the involved drivers. Intoxication on the part of one of the drivers frequently shares the blame for the accident. A recent multi-vehicle crash on I-485 in Charlotte appears to have been the result of both causes, although contemporary media reports do not provide much information.

The accident

According to news reports, a wrong-way driver was traveling in the wrong lane on I-485; the driver is believed by police to have been intoxicated at the time. The wrong-way vehicle collided with several other vehicles, setting at least three of them ablaze. The wrong-way driver survived the collision and was taken to a nearby hospital. A male passenger in one of the vehicles struck by the wrong-way driver was pronounced dead at the scene, as were two individuals in the other vehicles involved in the accident.

Criminal charges

Charleston police have indicated that when the wrong-way driver recovers from his injuries and is released from the hospital, he will face several criminal charges including DWI, reckless driving, and other charges that involve accidents that result in death or serious injury.

Civil claim for damages

An interesting sidelight of this case is the liability of the wrong-way driver for the deaths and injuries caused by his intoxication. The families of persons who died in the collision appear to have strong claims for wrongful death damages, and the survivors, who appear to have been seriously injured (although media reports were silent on this point) have claims for personal injury damages such as medical expenses, lost income (both past and future), and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide helpful advice for such claims.

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