An 18-year-old woman making a trip home to Georgia to celebrate her mother’s birthday was recently killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed his car into hers.
The young woman, a freshman at Alabama State University, was stopped at a red light not far from her family’s home near Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia, Georgia. As she waited for the light to change, a car driven by a 57-year-old man came upon the stoplight traveling at 70 miles per hour and rear-ended the victim, according to police.
The impact forced the victim’s car to flip several times and wind up down an embankment. The victim suffered a brain injury and was pronounced dead at a local hospital the day after the crash.
“‘Til the day I die, it will still be a pain,” her father said to a local television station. “They took my baby at 18. This is just horrible. I don’t want nobody to feel this at all.”
The drunk driver was not injured. He has been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, DUI and following too closely. He was booked at DeKalb County Jail.
“We want him to stay behind bars forever,” the woman’s father said. “He took a life, so his freedom should be taken as well.”
The justice system will handle the criminal side of this case, and her family undoubtedly will be watching. But their loss is immense, and they might want to pursue a civil action against the driver. In Georgia, if someone dies as a result of another person’s negligent or reckless actions — like what happened here — his or her parents or a representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. An experienced attorney who works with personal injury cases can help a victim’s family determine their legal rights.