The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Car accidents: Alleged DUI driver charged after passenger's death

While it may sometimes be impossible to prevent an automobile accident, accidents caused by drunk drivers are always preventable. Nevertheless, thousands of people in Missouri and other states lose their lives in drunk driving car accidents every year. The trauma and pain, along with financial implications of such a loss, can be devastating for the surviving family members.

A 25-year-old woman was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter for the part she played in the death of her 23-year-old friend. Investigators said the driver told them she and her friend had planned to go to a movie theater but changed their plans and went to a bar instead. While driving back from the bar, the driver allegedly lost control of the SUV she was operating and smashed into a utility pole before the vehicle rolled over.

Responders to the accident apparently found the passenger pinned in the seat, and she was declared dead. The driver was extricated from the wreck and, after alleged aggressive behavior toward medical personnel at the hospital, she was sedated. Toxicology tests were done and showed the driver's blood alcohol level to be .128 percent, which is significantly higher than the .08 percent allowed in Missouri.

Missouri residents who have lost loved ones in car accidents that resulted from the negligence of other parties may pursue compensation for financial losses incurred. Wrongful death claims with sufficient evidence of negligence may be filed in a civil court, and surviving family members may seek compensation for funeral and burial costs, along with other financial losses. Such claims will have to be properly documented and will be subject to appropriate state laws.

Source:, "Butler, Mo., woman is charged in vehicular fatality on Minor Drive", Glenn E. Rice, April 28, 2015

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