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Accused drunk driver kills youth counselor in accident

On March 13, 2015, North Carolina police in Durham were planning a meeting in the District Attorney's Office to decide whether to go forward with more charges against a 41-year-old Durham man responsible for a fatal car crash that killed a 53-year-old youth counselor. The drunk driver was going southbound on Fayetteville Road when he struck the counselor's car from behind, causing him to go into oncoming traffic. A local woman was also hit in the crash.

At the scene of the auto accident, emergency responders pronounced the counselor dead. He worked with troubled teens and was only 2 miles away from his home in Durham at the time of the accident. The 41-year-old driver and the woman were taken to the hospital but suffered no major injuries.

Following the accident, the drunk driver received two citations for drunk driving and driving with license revoked before being released on bail. These were added to list of citations on his record. He received his first citation for DWLR in 1998 when pulled over by officers, and five more citations followed. In 2005, police officers pulled him over for tinted windows and arrested him after discovering an open container of liquor in his backseat.

In North Carolina, families have three years to bring wrongful death lawsuits after car accidents take the lives of their loved ones. The law allows for families in North Carolina to sue for damages for pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, the plaintiff's side needs to be able to show neglect or willful intent, the other person's responsibility for the accident and damages in the form of medical or funeral expenses.

Source: WTVD, "Youth counselor killed in DWI crash in Durham," Tamara Gibbs, March 13, 2015

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