Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide after Fatal Wrong-Way Crash

Posted in Car Accident,Drunk Driving on August 14, 2017

A 58-year-old man is being charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault after he traveled the wrong way down Briley Parkway in Nashville and collided head-on with another vehicle on June 30.

Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident caused a passenger in the vehicle that the man hit to suffer fatal injuries. Metro Nashville Police say the crash occurred near Eaton’s Creek Road just before 10 p.m.

After an investigation, police determined that the man was intoxicated, as they found an empty bottle of whiskey inside his vehicle and toxicology tests confirmed that his blood alcohol level was 0.225 at the time of the crash—nearly three times the legal limit.

Both the wrong-way driver and the two occupants of the other vehicle were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to receive treatment. The female passenger was in critical condition since the day of the accident, but died on Monday. The driver of the other vehicle suffered multiple broken bones in the crash and is still receiving treatment for his injuries.

How Does Intoxicated or Impaired Driving Contribute to Accidents?

Despite decades of awareness programs and increased enforcement from police and state troopers, intoxicated and impaired driving remains an epidemic in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2015 alone—accounting for nearly 30 percent of all fatal traffic accidents that year.

The CDC says that alcohol affects drivers in several ways, such as:

  • Reduced coordination

Drivers begin experiencing a reduction in coordination at around a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent. As their level of intoxication increases, their coordination continues to decrease, making it more and more and difficult for them to keep their vehicles traveling in a straight line.

  • Poor speed control

Maintaining a steady speed is vital for staying safe on the roadway, but drivers who are at or above the legal limit—or 0.08 percent BAC—are more likely to accelerate or decelerate erratically and unpredictably, increasing their odds of being involved in a crash.

  • Impaired judgment

When drivers get behind the wheel, they must constantly monitor the roadway, their own vehicles’ speed and movement, and the behaviors of other drivers around them. Safe driving requires constant vigilance and quick decisions. Impaired or intoxicated drivers are prone to making irrational and even dangerous decisions while their vehicles are in motion, putting themselves and other motorists at risk.

  • Slower reaction times and blurred vision

As intoxication increases to between .10 percent and .15 percent BAC, drivers may find it more difficult to react appropriately and quickly when other drivers change lanes or begin to slow down. In addition, impaired drivers also may experience blurry vision and watery eyes, making it more difficult for them to read street signs, see vehicles and pedestrians at long distances or up close, and stay within their lanes on roadways.

Per the CDC, 28 people in the U.S. die in accidents that are alcohol-related every day. That averages to one death per 51 minutes. Effective prevention methods for alcohol-related crashes include stronger enforcement, sobriety checkpoints, and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years old.

In addition, the CDC also recommends that drivers take their own steps towards improving roadway safety by always designating drivers before going to events where alcohol is served, never letting friends get behind the wheel if they’re over the limit, and arranging a ride home if they don’t have a designated driver.

Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville auto accident attorneys knows that impaired drivers pose significant risks for everyone on the city’s streets, highways, and interstates. If you or someone you know was injured in a crash that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Our legal team knows the state’s DUI accident laws, and we know what it takes to help victims get the money they deserve.

Contact us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.