Raleigh car accident illustrates tragic consequences of drinking and driving

The tragedy playing out in a Raleigh courtroom illustrates the senseless pain and suffering endured by North Carolina drunk driving victims.

Our personal injury lawyers in Raleigh, Winston-Salem and elsewhere in the state understand the pain and devastation drunk drivers too often leave in their wake. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports one-third of the nation’s fatal car accidents are caused by drunk drivers. In 2009, a total of 10,839 motorists were killed in drunk driving crashes.
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Alcohol was involved in 430 of the 1,314 deadly North Carolina car accidents in 2009. South Carolina car accidents involving alcohol claimed 423 of 894 lives — or nearly half of all those killed on the road.

A 44-year-old father of two is on trial in for a September 2009 drunk driving accident in Raleigh that claimed the life of an aspiring ballerina, the News & Observer reports.

Prosecutors are seeking enhanced penalties against the driver by attempting to prove he acted with “malice.” That consuming large amounts of alcohol and speeding down the road in a vehicle constitutes second-degree murder. Police say his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit and that he was speeding down Strickland Road at twice the speed limit.

Court testimony reveals he was headed home to make a dinner date with his wife and friends after spending the afternoon golfing and drinking at the Raleigh Country Club. He was driving near Lead Mine Road when he slammed his silver Mercedes into the back of a Hyundai, killing the 20-year-old victim. She was a resident of Winston-Salem and a member of the Carolina Ballet.

The defendant is a former facial plastic surgeon who has since surrendered his medical license and entered rehab.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro. Call Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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