In June 2018, a horrific crash claimed the life of a 21-year-old man and critically injured a 55-year-old man. The crash occurred in Rochester Hills on South Boulevard near Fredmoore Drive.
The two were in a 1988 Dodge Daytona with the vehicle's driver, a 21-year-old man. All three worked at the same restaurant.
The driver lost control of the vehicle and crossed over the road. After plowing through a ditch, the vehicle slammed into a utility pole. The front seat passenger, the 21-year-old, died at the scene, while the other two men were both in critical condition when they arrived at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.
The driver was charged with two felonies, operating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated causing injury. The first charge carries a possible penalty of up to 15 years in prison, and the second carries a possible penalty of up to five years in prison.
On April 23, the man, who pleaded no contest to the charges, was sentenced to one year in jail for his role in the deadly wreck. In addition, he will serve five years on probation and must perform 300 hours of community service.
The family of the man who died may have recourse through civil court. A successful wrongful death lawsuit can hold the driver of the vehicle accountable.
Seeking compensation from those who drive while intoxicated and cause a crash can help the victims and their families during this difficult time. An attorney can provide more information on what damage may be sought, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of consortium and lost earning potential. While it won't bring back a loved one who passed away, it can provide the family with a source of justice and a deterrent to others not to drink and drive.