July 2010

North Carolina Drunk Driving Accidents Continue to Claim Lives

July 31, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers continue to take proactive steps to remind motorists of the dangers of drunken driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence is a crime and can cause cause serious injuries and claim lives.

Just last Sunday, 17-year-old Laura Fortenberry died after the car she was riding collided head-on with the auto driven by Bessemer City resident Howard Pasour on Dallas-Cherryville Highway in Gaston County. The two people riding in the car with the Lowell teen, 17-year-old Evan Griffith and 19-year-old Victoria Elizabeth Iffergan, were also taken to a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital.

Police say that Pasour, 28, drove his vehicle across the center line and that there were open alcohol containers in his Jeep Cherokee. He has three prior DWI convictions that in the past resulted in the revocation of his driver’s license and the requirement that he use an ankle bracelet. Pasour is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated felony death by motor vehicle, and habitual DWI.

In another North Carolina drunk driving accident earlier this month, an 18-year-old car crash victim was flown to Carolinas Medical Center after the car she was in went off the road and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Stanley teen Amanda Joy Ross, faces a driving while impaired charge. She reportedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15.

Crack down on DWI, even if some ignore law, Charlotte Observer, July 28, 2010

Father of man charged in drunk driving death speaks out, WCNC, July 26, 2010

Teen accused of drunken driving in wreck that injures passenger, Gaston Gazette, July 14, 2010

Deadly Jamestown, North Carolina Car Crash: State Attorney General’s Office Says It Won’t Release Investigation Report

July 27, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two months after a police pursuit ended in a Jamestown car accident that claimed the lives of 55-year-old Sandra Allmond and her 11-year-old granddaughter Taylor Strange and injured Elijah Allmond and Steven Strange, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office’s saying that it won’t release the investigation report that it commissioned. The deadly North Carolina auto accident happened as NC Highway Patrol Officer J.D. Goodnight was pursuing a vehicle moving at 80 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Goodnight’s vehicle was reportedly moving at a speed above the speed limit, reduced from 120 mph, when he struck the auto carrying the four car accident victims. One witness has stepped forward claiming that the state trooper was not pursuing anyone when the collision happened. He also says that he saw the police officer’s blue lights but did not hear a siren. Investigators have said that Allmond did not yield the right of way.

However, the Attorney General’s Office is saying that since it is its job to represent the state, and North Carolina wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits will likely be filed, sharing the information would “prohibit the state’s ability to defend the state” from such complaints.

At least three of the victim’s families have already hired North Carolina car accident lawyers. Since the deadly Jamestown auto collision, North Carolina’s Highway Patrol has modified its rules for pursuing criminal suspects. Under the new policy, a trooper is not allowed to join a police chase unless he/she if formally asked to help by a local police agency’s emergency communications center.

Police officers must abide by the speed limit and obey traffic signs. In the event that they are embroiled in a police pursuit that requires that they disregard traffic laws, then it is important that they warn other motorists and pedestrians while exercising caution that they not become involved in any type of North Carolina motor vehicle collision. Stopping suspects and rushing to the scene of a crime are not good enough reasons for causing accidental injury or death to others.

Lawsuits expected in May 23 fatal crash, Jamestownnews, July 27, 2010

Eyewitness contradicts story of trooper crash, ABC Local, July 21, 2010

NC Highway Patrol Changes Pursuit Policy, Digitriad, July 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Highway Patrol

Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase policies, USA Today, April 23, 2010

Charlotte, North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Crash on Interstate 85 Injures Three

July 22, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A multi-vehicle crash involving two tractor-trailers that took place at around 11 pm last night has left three people with injuries. The Charlotte, North Carolina semi-truck crash took place on Interstate 85.

According to police, one tractor-trailer crashed into another auto as the trucker attempted to change lanes. The second auto was shoved off the road where it struck a guardrail before reentering traffic and getting hit by another semi-truck. Meantime, the large truck that started the chain reaction hit another vehicle, which also struck a guardrail before careening back into traffic, and then drove off the ramp and jackknifed into a ditch.

One person sustained serious injuries. Two other truck crash victims suffered minor injuries.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina tractor-trailer crash attorneys know how stressed out you must feel to have been involved in or have a love one who has sustained serious injuries from a truck crash. That said, it is still important that you begin exploring your legal options as soon as possible.

Wednesday’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg County semi-truck accident wasn’t the only recent Charlotte, North Carolina multi-vehicle accident to result in injuries. Six people got hurt today during another Charlotte, North Carolina car accident on Central Avenue.

6 hurt in Central wreck, Charlotte Observer, July 22, 2010

3 Injured In Overnight I-85 Accident, WSOCTV, July 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Trucking Accidents, Nolo

2 Recent Charlotte, North Carolina Truck Accidents Allegedly Caused by Drunken Drivers

July 17, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Belmont man was killed in a Charlotte, North Carolina truck accident on Thursday when his vehicle was pushed in front of a tractor-trailer by another auto. The driver of that vehicle, 28-year-old Demaris Goodson, is charged with driving while intoxicated. Other charges may be filed against him once he gets out of the hospital.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, the victim, Maurice McDowell, died at the Charlotte, North Carolina car accident site on Brookshire Boulevard. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured.

Records show that Goodson has committed several traffic violations in the past, including the offenses of speeding and reckless driving. All cases, however, were waived or dismissed.

In another alleged drunk driver-related accident on Thursday, motorist Arthur Bidgood was going the wrong way on I-77 when he was involved in a Charlotte, North Carolina automobile accident with a paint truck and a tractor-trailer. The driver of the pickup truck reportedly jackknifed as it tried to avoid hitting Bidgood’s vehicle and was rear-ended by the semi-truck.

Bidgood is charged with reckless driving, driving while impaired, and driving the wrong way.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to drive while drunk. Drunk driving accidents are preventable accidents that would not have happened if only the drunken motorist had either decided not to drink or had opted to stay off the road.

We know how hard it is to have to live without your loved one and to cope with the fact that he/she was killed in such a senseless manner. We also know how devastating it can be to be the one left with catastrophic injuries because another driver was drunk.

Drunk driver going the wrong way on I-77 causes accident, WBTV, July 15, 2010

Driver faces DWI charge after fatal wreck, Charlotte Observer, July 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

US Department of Transportation

Robeson County Car Accident Kills Two

July 15, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Lumberton man has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle in the Robeson County car accident that killed his passenger and another driver on July 5. The North Carolina motor vehicle collision occurred at a stop sign at the four-way intersection of Rennert Road and McQueen Road.

Heckel, 21, reportedly failed to stop at the stop sign and was driving at a speed of 35 miles per hour when his vehicle was hit by a pickup truck traveling at about 50 mph. The driver of the pickup truck, Fred Nelson Gibbs, was wearing a seatbelt at the time, but it malfunctioned and he was thrown from his vehicle. He died at the crash site from his injuries.

Also killed in the Lumberton car accident was Brittany Graybill from Clayton. The 20-year-old was Heckel’s girlfriend and a passenger in his vehicle. She was later pronounced dead at a Fayetteville hospital.

According to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper R.D. Wright, who is investigating the case, it is not clear why Heckel did not yield the right of way. Wright does not believe that speeding, drugs, or alcohol were a factor.

North Carolina Car Accidents
Not only is failure to stop at a stop sign a traffic violation, but it can also lead to serious injuries or deaths. Most motorists responsible for causing traffic crashes never intended to become involved in any type of accident let alone cause North Carolina wrongful death or personal injury.

Clayton woman dies in accident in Robeson County, Clayton News-Star, July 12, 2010

Monday accident takes 2 lives, Robesonian.com, July 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Accidents and Injuries, Nolo

Victims Recovering from North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Accident Involving Tour Bus

July 10, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The 12 people that were injured in a July 1 North Carolina truck-bus accident on Interstate 85 close to the Gaston/Mecklenburg County line are recovering from their injuries. The North Carolina bus accident happened when the bus rear-ended a tractor-trailer that was stopped behind another truck, causing a rear-end collision between the two trucks.

Among those who were injured were members of the gospel group The Bowling Family, including Mike and Kelly Bowling and their three children. According to a spokesperson that issued a news release, Mike, who was ejected from the bus during the collision, sustained multiple facial injuries and a fractures skull. He is expected to undergo additional surgeries to treat his North Carolina bus accident injuries. Kelly Bowling broke a foot and her vertebrae and will likely have to use a body brace for several months. She may also have to undergo surgery. Their six-year-old daughter Katelanne broke her collarbone. She had to have plastic surgery to repair a deep facial laceration.

Police have said that a the backlog of trucks attempting to get into a weigh station played a part in the Belmont truck accident. The truck backup reportedly extended from the weigh station, across the river bridge, and into the city limits and that this caused the tour bus driver to suddenly run into the line of trucks without any previous warning.

The weigh station, which was built in 1979, may now be too small to handle the large volume of trucks that need to be checked. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, which runs the weigh station, there is a $300,000 camera system that is supposed to warn people in the station when the trucks are backed-up all the way to the highway. However, this is reportedly not an uncommon occurrence. Belmont Police Chief David James says that other North Carolina truck accidents have happened for this same reason. The Highway patrol is looking at possible sites to set up a new weigh station where longer ramps could be set up.

Backup at weigh station played a role in I-85 crash, WCNC, July 2, 2010

Update: I-85 Crash Injures 10+, Gospel Singer In Fair Condition, 2WSPA.com, July 1, 2010

Related Web Resource:
The Bowling Family