Suspected Drunk Driving Accident Kills Two Fort Carson Soldiers
Two U.S. Army soldiers based in Colorado recently died in a tragic car accident suspected to be caused by drunk driving. It is yet another needless reminder of the hazards that come with getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The soldiers, from Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, were killed in a single-car accident on East Platte Avenue in mid-September, according to news reports. Both men were thrown from the vehicle in the collision.
A 22-year-old man who was a passenger in the vehicle died at the scene of the crash. Another passenger, also 22, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries before passing away weeks later, according to a local Fox News affiliate.
The 23-year-old Fort Carson soldier who was driving the car reportedly was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and driving under the influence, among other offenses. Police said the man may have been impaired at the time of the crash, and that speed appeared to have played a role, according to the Denver Gazette.
The men were heading eastbound on Platte Avenue during overnight hours when the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree in the median, cursing the car to roll over, investigators found.
“A witness told police he saw the car strike a curb and then hit a second curb,” Mary Shinn reports for The Gazette. “The car then went airborne 2.5 cars high and rolled, a police arrest affidavit said.”
Colorado Springs has seen at least 36 traffic accident deaths so far this year, down slightly from the same time last year.
Denver Teen Killed in Separate Drunk Driving Crash
Just days after the second Fort Carson soldier was pronounced dead, a Denver teenager died in a similar rollover accident also suspected to be the result of drunk driving.
The 16-year-old North High School Student was in a car packed with her friends when it rolled over on eastbound I-70 near I-76, CBS reports. She was one of six people – five teens and one adult – in the vehicle at the time.
“Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash,” Olivia Young reports for CBS. “It’s not clear if anyone in the car was wearing a seatbelt.”
“Arvada police said charges against the driver are still being determined,” the CBS report continues. “Whether the driver had a license or just a learner’s permit, and whether those inside the car were wearing seatbelts, those factors are also still being investigated.”
Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident? Know Your Rights
Sadly, there is no shortage of tragic accidents across the state, highlighting the scourge of drinking and driving. And yet, the threat continues largely unabated.
Some 150 people have already died this year in Colorado traffic accidents linked to impaired driving, CDOT data show. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI across the state every single year.
Those arrests and the prosecution of people who make the reckless decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated are of little comfort to anyone injured in drunk driving accidents. Fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash.
A Denver accident attorney at our firm can help you understand your rights and take action. We are seasoned attorneys who have decades of experience helping people and families harmed by drunk drivers.
Money Damages in Colorado Car Accident Cases
The money damages often available in car accident cases are designed to put an injured person back in the position that he or she was in before the accident happened.
It includes compensation for medical bills, property damage, missed wages and any impact on your long-term earning capacity. Additional damages may be awarded for pain and suffering, as well as to punish particularly reckless behavior in some cases.
In the tragic situation that a person is killed in a drunk driving accident, his or her loved ones have the right to seek similar compensation by filing a wrongful death action. State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. If a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.
To successfully obtain compensation, you have to be able to identify those responsible for the crash. That is often a drunk driver and his or her insurance company. The driver’s employer may also share liability if the person was driving a company car or otherwise on the job at the time.
You also have to be able to prove legal liability.
Colorado car accident cases are usually based on claims for negligence. This legal theory holds people and entities responsible when they do not live up to a particular “duty of care.”
Drivers, for example, owe others on the road a “duty of care,” requiring them to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. They must comply with traffic laws, maintain appropriate speeds and take steps to ensure that their vehicles are in good working order. Drivers also have to avoid risky behavior, like drinking and driving.
A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.
The value of a car accident claim varies widely based on the proof of guilt and also the extent of the injuries caused by the crash. Our lawyers have significant experience compiling medical records to build comprehensive claims that detail both the immediate and the expected long-term harm caused to clients injured in car accidents.
Talk With a Denver Accident Attorney
Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver accident attorney.