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Murder charges can result from drunk driving accidents

Most drivers do not set out to kill anyone when they get behind the wheel of their vehicles. However, when a Missouri resident decides to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs, he or she makes the choice to put the lives of everyone on the road with them at risk. The possibility of that driver causing a crash that takes the life of someone else is real. Many people may not realize that murder charges can result from drunk driving accidents.

A 54-year-old woman is currently facing a charge of murder in the second degree and two counts of assault in the second degree after an accident in which she was allegedly drunk. Witnesses to the Aug. 2014 crash told police that the vehicle operated by the woman was weaving in and out of traffic, speeding and passing other vehicles in a dangerous manner as she traveled southbound on Missouri Route CC. Unfortunately, the woman could not be stopped before she crashed her vehicle head-on into another car.

The woman's car had veered into the northbound lane of travel, and the 27-year-old driver of the car in her path attempted to avoid a collision by moving into the southbound lane. At that same time, the woman attempted to get back into her own lane of travel, which is when the accident occurred. The passenger in the northbound vehicle, also a 27-year-old man, died in the impact. Both drivers suffered serious injuries.

The family of the deceased passenger and the injured driver retain the right to file civil actions against the woman separately from the criminal charges she currently faces. If she is convicted of one or more of the crimes with which she is charged, proof that could be used to establish negligence in a wrongful death or personal injury suit. Successfully proving in a civil court proceeding that her actions caused or contributed to the passenger's death and the driver's injuries could lead to an award of damages typically seen in drunk driving accidents.

Source: fultonsun.com, "Murder charge filed in fatal car crash", March 26, 2015

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