When a person chooses to drink and drive they are making a choice to endanger themselves and others on the road. This action can be considered more than just simple negligence, especially when that decision results in the wrongful death of an innocent person simply trying to make a living.
A 59-year-old man was recently indicted by a Columbus, Ohio, grand jury on two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and aggravated vehicular homicide, among other charges. According to prosecutors, the man's blood alcohol level was 0.242, three times the state's legal limit just after the late September accident.
A 60-year-old man who was hooking up a vehicle to his tow truck on Interstate 71 was struck and killed by the alleged drunk driver. The man was working that early September morning just going about his business when disaster struck. Now his family must deal with the grief and sudden loss that is the result of one man's decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
The family members of the victim do have the right to file a wrongful death action against the alleged drunk driver who is accused of hitting and killing their loved one. Although the driver has been charged with vehicular homicide in the matter, criminal charges are not required to prove gross negligence in a civil wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.
Those charges do however lend credence to the fact that the driver's actions that morning were the direct cause of the tow truck driver's death and those charges can be offered as further proof of the man's negligence. When a person is killed in a sudden and senseless act such as drunk driving, the grief can be overwhelming for surviving family members.
But sometimes a successful wrongful death action can provide some compensation to aid the family in dealing with their grief and sudden loss, and in knowing that further justice has been served.
Source: FOX 28, "Man Indicted in Fatal Drunk Driving Accident," Kellie Hanna, Jan. 31, 2013