August 2010

Our Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm Wants to Remind Everyone to Drive Safely and Soberly Over the Labor Day Weekend

August 31, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

With 1,422 North Carolina traffic crashes resulting in 12 deaths and 903 injuries over the last Labor Day weekend, it is no wonder that State Highway Patrol officers will be on alert for drunk drivers and speeding motorists in an effort to prevent the number of auto crashes that occur this year. Running through September 6, the “Booze It and Lose It” campaign is in effect.

Additional patrols and checkpoints are set up throughout the state. Last year, officers gave out over 105,370 criminal and traffic citations during the Labor Day campaign.

According to findings from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2008 study that surveyed 6,999 people, even though four out of five people think that driving drunk is dangerous, one in five say that they have driven within two hours of having had an alcoholic drink. 1 in 12 drivers admitted that within a 12-month period they had driven drunk. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland notes that more needs to be done to bridge the gap between people knowing that driving drunk is dangerous and acting in a manner more consistent with that awareness.

More Findings from the NHTSA Survey:
• About 17.2 million Americans have driven even when they thought their blood-alcohol level was higher than the legal driving limit.
• 8% have gotten into a car operated by someone that they thought was too inebriated to drive.
• 40% said they thought they could drive after three alcoholic beverages.
• 11% said they thought they could drive after five drinks.

The US Department of Transportation reports that drunk drivers are involved in 1/3rd of deadly car crashes that occur in this country. In North Carolina last year, there were 11,304 alcohol-related traffic crashes resulting in 8,791 injuries and 394 deaths.

Governors Highway Safety Association chairman Vernon Betkey is quoted in USA Today as saying that the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities could be lowered by 50% if people stopped driving drunk and everyone wore seatbelts.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm would like to remind you to wear your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, and refrain from driving while drunk or distracted not just over the Labor Day weekend but during every day of the year.

State troopers stepping up patrols for Labor Day,, August 29, 2010

Government study: 1 in 12 drivers admit driving drunk, USA Today, August 25, 2010

Governor’s Highway Safety Program Announces Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Related Web Resources:

Governors Highway Safety Association

North Carolina Highway Patrol Looks to Prevent Mecklenburg County Truck Crashes with Operation Road Watch

August 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

In an effort to prevent motor carrier safety violations on state highways, the North Carolina Highway Patrol will be conducting Operation Road Watch on I-77 in Mecklenburg County for the next two days. Highway troopers are hoping to limit the number of semi-truck crashes along the corridor. Not only are they checking 18-wheeler truckers for aggressive truck drivers, but also they are looking for hazmat violations and unsecured loads.

Tractor-trailer violations can prove dangerous not just for the trucker but also for others on the road. In 2009, North Carolina state troopers investigated 5,577 of the 8,641 North Carolina motor carrier vehicle crashes that occurred. 98 fatalities and 1,839 injuries resulted from these collisions.

Police believe their efforts through Operation Road Watch will decrease the number of deadly North Carolina semi-truck crashes while also limiting the traffic congestion can occur when a large truck accident happens. Drivers that operate their vehicles aggressively when around tractor-trailers, speeders, aggressive drivers, and tailgaters will also receive tickets. This is the first campaign to concentrate only on commercial vehicle violations. Operation Road Watch will be going to other counties later in the year.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina truck accident law firm represent clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. We cannot stress enough how important it is to explore your legal options as soon as possible.

Just last week, 35-year-old Joshua Charles Woodrow died when the tanker he was driving was involved in a South Carolina tanker truck accident on I-77 and exploded. The truck which is owned by MTM Transportation and was hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline, rolled onto its side, struck the sedan, and burst into flames.

Trucks being checked on I-77, Salisbury Post, August 24, 2010

Survivor of fiery wreck: ‘We got in the road and it exploded,’ WMBF News, August 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

State Highway Patrol

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association

Charlotte Pedestrian Accident Claims Life of Nurse Standing Outside North Carolina Assisted Living Facility

August 23, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Susan Karabulut, a 33-year-old nurse who worked at the White Oak Manor retirement nursing home, was killed in a Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident on Sunday. Karabulut was standing outside the assisted living facility when a car that drove onto the sidewalk where she was standing and fatally struck her. Another woman, 47-year-old Lisa McTe, suffered life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the car that struck her, 21-year-old Leah Anne Walton, has been charged with reckless driving, driving with no liability insurance, involuntary manslaughter, drug and marijuana paraphernalia possession, and driving with a revoked vehicle registration. Walton told police that she had briefly taken her eyes off the road to reach into her bag for a cigarette.

According to investigators, Walton crossed the double yellow line and drove across the lanes of opposing traffic before striking the two women. Karabulut was pronounced dead at the Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident site.

Distracted Driving
It is never advisable to take your eyes off the road while driving. Acts that are harmless enough when done while not driving, such as looking at the radio while changing the station, reading directions on a map, choosing a new playlist on an iPod, or rifling through a makeup bag to find that right shade of lipstick can turn dangerous when these activities distract a motorist long enough that he/she ends up causing a North Carolina car crash resulting injuries or death.

It can take mere seconds for a catastrophic Charlotte, North Carolina motor vehicle crash to occur. The driver likely never intended to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t mean that he or she won’t be held liable in civil court. There also may be criminal charges.

Nurse struck and killed outside retirement home, Charlotte Observer, August 23, 2010

Woman charged in fatal pedestrian accident, News14Carolina, August 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents With Pedestrians, Nolo

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Union County, North Carolina Car Accident Involving Grain Truck Kills Two Incoming Wingate University Students

August 16, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Union County, North Carolina truck accident has claimed the lives of Fayetteville teen Mishawn Miller and Greensboro teen Arielle Parker, both age 18.The two incoming Wingate University freshmen were heading to a ropes challenge course on Saturday morning when, according to police, Miller failed to halt at a stop sign on Old Pageland Monroe Road. His vehicle was hit on the driver’s side by a grain truck.

Miller and Parker, who was sitting in the backseat, were killed instantly. Seriously injured in the North Carolina car accident was 18-year-old Charlotte resident Marcelle Louba, who was sitting behind Miller. 19-year-old Kendric Reid, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, sustained minor injuries. The teenagers were traveling in a caravan of other students who were taking part in an academic enrichment program for students about to begin their freshman year at the university.

The grain truck driver, 52-year-old Elberbe resident Carlon Watkins, also sustained minor injuries. The grain truck that he was driving had a similar dimension and weight as a dump truck.

According to neighbors in the area, although a flashing red light has been installed at the intersection where the Union County, North Carolina car accident happened, more needs to be done to prevent future traffic accidents. Visibility can be poor there, which can make it hard for motorists to see approaching vehicles. Some have even called for the installation of a traffic light. Although the Department of Transportation received a petition for a light that was signed by hundreds, it denied the request saying that not enough traffic traveled through the intersection.

There are steps that you can take to protecting your right to financial recovery for injuries sustained during a Wingate car accident.

Wingate To Hold Memorial For Students Killed In Crash, WSOCTV, August 16, 2010

2 incoming Wingate University freshmen killed in wreck, Charlotte Observer, August 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Wingate University

Teen Driver Accused of Causing Charlotte, North Carolina Pedestrian Accident that Injured Three Booked on DWI Charges Again

August 12, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Nearly two weeks after striking three people during a Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident in the Elizabeth neighborhood, 19-year-old driver Kirstie Pienta has been booked for DWI. This is her second driving while intoxicated charge. Pienta was previously charged for speeding, DWI, following too closely driving after consuming under 21, and civil revocation of license. She now is also charged with driving and consuming alcohol under the age of 21 and felony serious injury by vehicle.

The Charlotte, North Carolina car crash occurred on August 1 at around 2am on 7th Street. Police say that the teen driver struck a number of pedestrians, even dragging one of them, Danielle Moore, almost 100 feet. They don’t believe that Pienta stepped on the brakes.

According to witnesses, the teen motorist was driving at a speed of at least 45 mph in a 35 mph zone. They also say that she was drinking and her speech was slurred less than half an hour before the Charlotte pedestrian accident.

One of the pedestrians that she allegedly struck, Michael Hayes, injured his leg. He says that he will have to undergo follow-up surgery. Also struck was Damion Jenkins. Moore, who sustained compound fractures to her leg, was taken to the hospital in fair condition.

Pienta, who was transported to the hospital in serious condition for her Charlotte, North Carolina car accident injuries, was taken to jail after she was discharged.

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accidents
Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm is determined to help teenagers become aware of the dangers that can come with driving drunk. Every year, the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo awards college scholarships to a number of high school students who have come up with inspiring and innovative ways to discourage drunk driving among their peers.

Youth and inexperience already increase the risk that a young motorist may become involved in a traffic crash when he/she is sober—let alone when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When injuries or death result, a young driver may have to face not just criminal charges but also a civil claim for Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death or personal injury.

Teen accused of DWI taken to jail, Charlotte Observer, August 11, 2010

Teen who wrecked Mercedes and hit pedestrians, charged, WBTV, August 10, 2010

Teen driving Mercedes charged in wreck that hurt 3 pedestrians, WAFB, August 3, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Winners of the 2010 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Join the Fight to Stop North Carolina Car Accidents Caused by Underage Drinking, NorthCarolinaCarAccidentLawyerBlog, May 22, 2010

Teenage Drunk Driving Risks,

Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Disabled Plymouth Cyclist Killed in North Carolina Truck Accident

August 6, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Albert Arnott is dead. The Plymouth local, who couldn’t walk but was able to ride a bicycle across the US, sustained fatal injuries when he was struck by a pickup truck while riding his recumbent machine on US Highway 61. The North Carolina truck accident happened on July 31.

Arnott, 60, became disabled during a work accident nearly two decades ago when he fell from a tree while landscaping. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and lost his ability to walk. However, that didn’t stop him from training himself to walking on crutches and cycle.

The driver of the pickup truck, 30-year-old Justin Mark Keaton, says he did not see Arnott. This week, Keaton was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

North Carolina Pedalcyclist Accidents
It is so important for drivers to remember that they share the road with pedalcyclists. North Carolina bicycle accidents do claim lives and often, the motorist that struck the rider can be charged with a crime even though he/she never intended to hurt anyone. He/she can also become the defendant of a North Carolina personal injury case.

In another recent North Carolina bicycle accident, Linda Sink is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed because she accidentally struck two cyclists with her car last month in Stokes County. Police say that she wasn’t paying attention—an allegation that she disputes.

Killed in this North Carolina traffic crash was 62-year-old Donald Sunday. The other rider, 62-year-old Barry Leonard, suffered a broken pelvis.

How drivers can avoid hitting bicyclists:

• Obey traffic laws
• Don’t speed
• Don’t drive drunk
• Don’t talk text while driving
• Watch out for cyclists
• Be carefully when passing a bicyclist

Truck driver is charged in cyclist’s death on U.S. 601, Winston-Salem Journal, August 6, 2010

Native cyclist killed in N.C. wreck, Citizens Voice, August 4, 2010

Driver Charged In Fatal Wreck Involving Bicyclists, Digitriad, July 28, 2010

A bicyclist’s death, Winston-Salem Journal, July 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Bicycle Safety and Access, University of NC Highway Safety Research Center