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Drunk driving, speeding suspected in fatal single-vehicle crash

There are single-vehicle accidents in Tennessee that may be the subject of one or more claims for personal injury damages. These claims are created when a driver negligently or recklessly loses control of the vehicle and crashes into a stationary object such as a wall or guard rail. Where the vehicle rolls over after impact, the prospects of passengers suffering serious personal injury are increased. The driver's negligent operation of the vehicle may be due to drunk driving, texting, drugs, speeding, fatigue or general distracted driving.

Thus, there does not always have to be a car crash with one or more other vehicles for there to be a personal injury claim arising out of a collision. It can be a single-car collision and the claim may be made against the driver by his passenger(s). Where the accident is caused by the driver's impairment through alcohol or drugs, it is not generally a defense for the driver to claim that the passenger was also inebriated.

A recent fatal Tennessee accident illustrates these principles. Police in Sevierville reported the death of one passenger and serious injuries to another after the operator of an SUV lost control of his vehicle, allowing it to cross the center median and to roll over several times. The release from the police indicates that alcohol  and excessive speed may be factors in the crash.

An 18-year-old Seymour man was ejected from the SUV and killed when the pickup truck veered across West Main Street at a high speed and rolled over several times. A 17-year-old male passenger was ejected from the pickup and suffered serious injuries. The injured passenger, who was hospitalized at the University of Tennessee Medical Center,  will most likely have a viable claim for personal injuries against the driver, who the police suspect of drunk driving and speeding. The family of the deceased man may file an estate and bring a wrongful death claim in state court against the SUV operator.

Source: knoxnews.com, "Police: Alcohol, speed may be factors in fatal Sevierville crash", July 20, 2017

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