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Mississippi man in fatal DUI accident sued for wrongful death

A Mississippi man is facing trial both in criminal and civil court for his alleged actions prior to getting into a deadly car accident in 2011. The crash cost the life of a 78-year-old woman. Authorities and the victim’s son say that the Mississippi resident was drunk and driving the wrong way on a highway in another state.

The victim’s son filed his wrongful death suit in mid-September, nearly two years after the wreck that took his mother’s life. She was driving north on a state highway in Alabama on Oct. 2, 2011, when suddenly a vehicle driven by a 31-year-old man bore down on her, according to the lawsuit

The vehicle was also on the northbound side of the highway, but going south. Too frequently, car accidents caused by a wrong-way driver cause serious injury. They are often the result of a drunk driver becoming confused and entering a highway through the exit.

In this case, the collision severely injured the older woman. She later passed away at a nearby hospital. The defendant was arrested for manslaughter. His criminal trial was scheduled to begin on Oct. 7.

Besides the driver, the wrongful death suit also names a pool hall where the defendant allegedly was drinking the night of the accident, along with the business’ former owner. The suit charges that the pool hall continued to serve alcohol to the defendant, even once he had become visibly intoxicated.

Like Mississippi, the state in which the suit was filed has a “dram shop” law. This law allows those injured in a drunk driving accident to seek compensation from the bar, restaurant or similar establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver past the point when they reasonably should have cut off him or her. The purpose is to hold irresponsible bars and restaurants accountable for their contributions to the victims’ injuries.

Source: Al.com, “Wrongful death lawsuit filed in fatal Baldwin County wreck,” Thyrie Bland, Sept. 20, 2013

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