Two people forced off Highway 33 outside of Greenville, North Carolina (NC), suffered serious injuries when their vehicle flipped over into a ditch. The accident occurred on the afternoon of November 15, 2014, close to the intersection with Galloway Crossroads Road, which is also known as Blackjack-Simpson Road.
The at-fault driver was determined to be high on drugs at the time of the wreck. He also crashed, fled on foot and was apprehended by police while in the act of destroying the kitchen of a house he had entered illegally. According to television station WITN, the suspect intended to cause harm and appeared to have attempted to run over pedestrian in a shopping center parking lot before targeting the individuals in the pickup. Reports do not indicate which drugs the man had ingested.
In North Carolina, drugged driving falls under the general criminal category of driving while intoxicated. The DWI statutes specify that minors -- drivers under the age of 21 -- can be assumed to be impaired if any illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth or heroin are found in their blood or saliva. Adults such as the 33-year-old being tried in relation to this accident, however, must be shown by prosecutors to both have used one or more substances scheduled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and to have acted in a reckless way.
If the facts are as reported, then there should be little difficult establishing that the man who ran the pickup off the highway was driving while drugged. My Carolina personal injury law firm colleagues and I know from decades of experience, though, that few cases are so straightforward. When individuals get hit and injured by drivers they suspect were drunk or high, they owe it to themselves to seek a consultation with a skilled plaintiff's attorney. Holding people who recklessly cause damage and injuries is not always easy in either criminal court or civil lawsuits.