On a cold night in late December, a car carrying 4 teens was traveling at high speed down West Shiloh Unity Road in Lancaster, SC. The fatal car crash occurred after the car took a 45 MPH turn at speeds in excess of 119 Miles per hour. The car apparently went airborne, snapping a telephone pole and then came to rest approximately a football fields length away. During the crash, a 15-year old girl was killed after she was ejected from the car, this as a result of her seat belt not being properly fastened. The other two teens in the car were injured and the boy himself suffered severe head and neck injuries and underwent surgery at Carolinas Medical Center. The boy was charged with Reckless Homicide and a violation of Restricted License.
The crash occurred on Dec 29th, 2009 and investigators believe that the driver’s inexperience and the high speed of the car were the primary factors involved in the incident. The driver, 16 had a restricted drivers permit. Under SC law, permit holders are only allowed to drive between 6 am and 6pm, carrying a maximum of two minors in the car. In the case of this crash, both of those restrictions were violated by the teen boy. The boy plead guilty to Reckless Homicide and Violation of a Restricted License. He will be evaluated by the Department of Juvenile Justice and then be sentenced. He will lose his Driver’s License for a duration of 5 years and will be under house arrest, monitored by an electronic bracelet. After sentencing he could also serve time with the Department of Juvenile Justice until he is 21.
Excessive speed and the inexperience of young drivers are often cited factors in fatal crashes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states that almost 32% of crashes are caused by drivers aged 21 and younger. A Key factor in this case was the apparent ignorance of the boy’s parents of his whereabouts the night of the crash. Charleston child injury lawyers want to urge the public to pay special care to their child’s behavior and activities when they are just learning to operate a motor vehicles.
Sources: The State, ” Lancaster teen pleads guilty in death of girl, 15″ Kimberly Dick, The Rock Hill Herald
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration