A 14-year-old girl is dead following a violent car accident that left several other people injured. A representative with the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP) said that troopers believe a 22-year-old driver struck the vehicle carrying the girl when he failed to obey a stop sign and cut a corner. Prosecutors have charged the man with driving while impaired and may file additional charges against him depending on the result of the NCHP's investigation.
Authorities say the fatal accident occurred when the two vehicles collided head-on as the suspect attempted to make a left turn without halting for a stop sign. None of the occupants of either vehicle were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, causing all of the victims to sustain injuries. Emergency response personnel transported them to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where the 14-year-old victim was pronounced dead upon arrival. The 22-year-old driver was in serious condition at last report, while the other vehicle's 38-year-old driver was listed in fair condition. The hospital had no information on the status of the remaining victims.
Authorities say that charges against the 38-year-old driver are pending because none of his passengers were properly restrained by safety belts. A representative with the NCHP said the patrol is cooperating with the local district attorney's office in accordance with standard procedure for traffic accidents resulting in deaths.
The principal of the victim's middle school released a statement expressing her sadness upon hearing news of the fatal crash. She extended her condolences to the girl's family and noted that social workers and guidance counselors will be providing support to staff and students in the wake of the death.
Thousands of North Carolina families lose loved ones to car accidents every year. Some of these fatal crashes are the direct result of the reckless or negligent actions of other motorists. In such cases, families may be able to obtain compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: The Dispatch, "NDMS student dies after head-on collision," Darrick Ignasiak, Feb. 18, 2013