A North Carolina state representative has turned himself after being charged in the traffic death of a 55-year-old man. The representative, who was seriously injured in the 2011 accident, faces charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle. The representative's attorney said he was informed of the planned charge by police, adding that his client "always knew that this was always a possibility."
Although, the representative faces criminal charges for his role in the fatal accident, the relatives of the deceased victim could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in order to seek compensation for the death of their loved one. It is unclear whether they plan to do so, however. A family member of the victim said he was aware of the charge, but declined to discuss the matter further.
Police say the [fatal accident] occurred as the representative was driving at around 11 p.m. when he veered across the road's center lane and struck the victim's vehicle, killing him at the accident site. Although the victim was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.29 percent, over four times North Carolina's legal limit, police investigators eventually determined that the representative was ultimately responsible for the crash. The representative had not been drinking.
The representative sustained severe injuries from the accident, including broken hips and legs. He remains in a wheel chair. His attorney explained that the charges have reopened painful memories for the representative, worrying that the case "could be very stressful for him."
Because the charge is a misdemeanor and the representative has no convictions on his record, he would likely face a year-long driver's license suspension and probation if convicted. Still, his attorney said it is difficult to predict the case's results.
Source: digtriad.com, "State Rep Larry Womble Charged In Fatal December Wreck," May 24, 2012