Pedestrian Accident Leads to Teens Suffering Death and Serious Injuries
According to the News Observer, two North Carolina teens were recently involved in a pedestrian accident as they were walking across the street. One of the two young people lost her life in the accident and the other teen sustained serious injuries to her legs and to her pelvis. The driver left the scene of the accident, but police have identified a motorist suspected of causing the crash and are currently investigating to determine how the accident happened.
Our Wilmington injury lawyers know that pedestrian accidents are a leading cause of car accident deaths. While younger children tend to be at greater risk of dying in a pedestrian accident than teens, people of all ages routinely sustain very serious and even fatal injuries when hit by a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian Accidents Dangerous to Motorists
Pedestrian accidents cost thousands of lives each year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that as many as 4,280 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2010. During this same time period, another 70,000 pedestrians sustained injury in accidents. This data breaks down to an average of one pedestrian death in a car accident every two hours and one pedestrian injury in a car accident every eight minutes.
The teens involved in this accident were a little older than the children who are most commonly injured in pedestrian accidents, as both young children and the elderly are at the greatest risk. In 2010, for example, almost one of every five children ages five to nine who were killed in a traffic crash was a pedestrian.
However, while the teens were outside of this high-risk age group, this accident may have fallen into a different high-risk category: the dangers of pedestrian accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers.
The motorist left the scene of the accident in this case, making it more difficult to tell if he was drunk at the time of the crash. However, the driver suspected of the wreck had a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated. Investigators obtained search warrants for blood samples from the motorist, which are intended to detect whether the driver was drunk. Investigators also seized the data recorder for the vehicle in order to get essential information about the driver's behavior before the crash.
Who is Responsible for the Recent Accident?
Since the crash investigation is still underway, it is not clear yet if the driver bears the blame for this tragic accident or if the teens themselves were partially at fault.
Witnesses indicate that the driver had a green light when the girls were crossing, which could potentially suggest the girls were crossing against the light. Even if this was the case, however, the driver could still be partially to blame for the accident if he was drunk and/or if he did not stop his vehicle when he saw the girls in the intersection.
A CDC report on preventing childhood pedestrian injuries states that young people often put themselves at risk by dashing across intersections or crossing mid-block, but neither of these seem to have been the case in this accident. Still, it is common for fault to be shared among walkers and motorists when a crash happens. Sharing partial responsibility for a pedestrian accident does not prevent injured victims or their family members from making a legal claim to hold the driver at least partially accountable for serious or fatal pedestrian injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a Wilmington injury lawyer today at 1-800-FLEXNER for your free legal consultation.