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Drunk motorist accused of killing elderly man

A 32-year-old man is accused of intoxicated driving and causing a car accident in Rogersville, Missouri, that resulted in the death of an 84-year-old male driver. He is being charged with felony involuntary manslaughter in both the first and second degree. The crash also injured his two daughters, who were passengers in his car. The children, who are six and eight, were rushed to a nearby hospital, where one child's injuries were described as serious and the other's as moderate.

The accident occurred as the man reportedly was driving his Chevrolet Silverado west in the eastbound lane of U.S. 60. The crash took place at 7:00 p.m. when his car rammed into the front of the elderly motorist's Chevrolet Impala. The elderly man was declared dead at the scene. Both cars were totally destroyed.

Police said that the arrested driver registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, higher than double the legal limit of 0.08. Making it worse, this reading was obtained over two-and-a-half hours after the crash, giving time for some alcohol to have left his bloodstream. Police said his speech was slurred, he failed field sobriety tests and he smelled of alcohol.

Reckless motorists who drive while highly intoxicated endanger everyone, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bike riders. While criminal charges are warranted for those who cause a fatal accident by driving the wrong way on a highway in a haze of alcohol, that does nothing to compensate innocent accident victims and their families. To accomplish that, personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are appropriate.

No amount of money, of course, can really compensate a family for the death of a loved one. However, as much of the financial burden as possible arising from an accident should fall on the person who caused it, rather than the victims or their families.

Source: News-Leader.com, "Patrol: Teacher drunk in fatal crash that also injured his 2 children" Thomas Gounley, Oct. 29, 2013

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