By John Cooper, Virginia Drunk Driving Injury Attorney
The death of a popular 19-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) student from Virginia Beach on Feb. 22, 2012 shocked the close-knit university community in Richmond as well as friends and family back in Virginia Beach.
It has also illustrated Virginia’s tough stance on drunk driving. The 23-year-old who hit the car the Virginia Beach girl was traveling in, has been indicted on a new charge of aggravated involuntary manslaughter that could entail a jail term of up to 20 years, if he’s convicted.
The 23-year-old, who is also a VCU student, is accused of running a red light at high speed while drunk and T-boning another vehicle where 2nd and Canal Streets meet in downtown Richmond, VA. The crash killed the 19-year-old and left two others injured.
As a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney I am deeply saddened that a young life was lost in this way.
If this charge sticks the 23-year-old will likely face the full force of the law. Excess speed and red light running are two of the most dangerous violations we see on the roads of Virginia. Add alcohol or drugs into the mix and you have a deadly cocktail.
This student was originally charged with charged with DUI, a refusal to submit to a blood or breath test and felony manslaughter, WTVR.com reported
The original charges have been set aside, as the state pursues a charge of aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
The dangers of drunk driving were clearly spelled out by Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland.
“It’s a lesson people have heard for decades, you get behind the wheel after drinking and there’s nothing good that can come out of that,” Thorne-Begland said, according to WTVR. “People’s lives can be ruined, you can lose your license, you can lose your freedom and there are going to be consequences that can follow you around for the rest of your life.”
As an experienced Virginia Beach DUI accident injury attorney who sees the misery caused by impaired drivers on a weekly basis, I can only echo these sentiments.
Not all of these cases make the headlines. More commonly a drunk driver may cause a leg, back or a spinal injury.
Where a driver is found to have been acting under the influence of alcohol there are grounds for a victim or the family of a victim to claim extra damages, known as punitive damages, in a subsequent lawsuit.
The Virginia Beach personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles car, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as brain injury, wrongful death, railroad workers’ injuries (FELA) mesothelioma and medical malpractice cases.
John Cooper grew up and was educated in Virginia Beach and handles many cases from the city. John Cooper and his partner Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in handling personal injury claims.
John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010 and has been a member since 2011 of the Multimillion dollar Advocates Roundtable. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout Virginia as well as in north eastern North Carolina. We always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 309-4711 or make an appointment to visit our Virginia Beach office at 4445 Corporation Lane, Suite #187, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462. For a free consultation with a specialized Virginia Beach, VA personal injury lawyer contact us through this website