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Driver in fatal crash was taking anti-psychotic drug

A 21-year-old man from Walnut Grove, Missouri, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, among others. The man is accused of being responsible for a car accident that occurred in June and ended the life of a woman from Aldrich. At the time of the accident, investigators believe he had taken a drug classified as an anti-psychotic and commonly prescribed to combat such maladies as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

His car, while traveling north in the southbound lane of Highway 123, collided head-on with another car, killing an 82-year-old female passenger. The accident took place in close proximity to Walnut Grove and also inflicted injuries on two people in the other vehicle and two in his own, including his own son, who is only 2 years old. Prior to the crash, a witness stated that the man's car was moving erratically, as well as being in the wrong lane. Two other witnesses collaborated that story.

When the driver exited his vehicle, an officer observed that his speech was slurred, he appeared to be staggering, he moved slowly, and his pupils looked constricted. The officer administered field sobriety tests and concluded that he was drug-impaired, placing him under arrest. Drug test results are pending, although the motorist said that he takes the anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel. Tests for alcohol showed there was none in the driver's system.

Driving the wrong way in a traffic lane is reckless behavior that is almost certain to cause serious injury or death. Compensation can be sought through private lawsuits for money damages for wrongful death and personal injury by the victims and their families.

Source: News-Leader.com, "Patrol: Walnut Grove man charged with manslaughter in crash, under influence of anti-psychotic drug" Stephen Herzog, Dec. 03, 2013

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