Every motorist is required, by law, to obey all traffic regulations, limitations and laws governing the operation of motor vehicles when they get the behind the wheel of a car and venture onto the road. A person in Texas or elsewhere across the nation is at risk for becoming a victim of a drunk driving accident, however, when a motorist chooses to ignore the law and navigate the roads while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. In a recent case, a family witnessed a tragic accident that involved their loved one.
On Labor Day weekend, a 20-year-old woman was traveling with her family on a Texas parkway. One of her cousins described her as a person with a big heart and said it was no surprise that she wanted to pull over in order to help a turtle that was in the middle of the road. The driver pulled the vehicle to the side of the road, and the young woman exited the car so that she could remove the turtle from harm's way.
As she was trying to help the turtle, another vehicle reportedly struck the woman. She transported to a nearby hospital for emergency care; sadly, she succumbed to her injuries later that evening. The 32-year-old man said to be driving the vehicle that hit the woman allegedly crashed his car in a ditch near an apartment building.
Reports indicate that, after crashing his vehicle, the man tried to carjack another motorist, using a machete as a weapon. Information provided stated that he was being held in jail on a $115,000 bond. Multiple charges have been filed, including intoxicated manslaughter, aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping.
Texas law allows immediate family members who suffer the untimely death of a loved one in a drunk driving accident to file a legal claim in a civil court on behalf of the deceased. Though a family is surely grief-stricken under such circumstances, it might be comforting to know that they can at least seek compensation for damages sustained in the accident. A successfully litigated case can lead to a compensatory award that can be used to help pay funeral and burial costs, as well as alleviate some of the other monetary losses associated with the accident, such as medical bills for care rendered before a victim's death.
Source: NBC News, "Texas Woman Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver as She Helped Turtle Cross Road", M. Alex Johnson, Sept. 8, 2015