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Lawsuit pending in curious South Carolina wrongful death case

A South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit has many asking who is to blame. Two women, daughters of a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a dump truck in June 2012, are suing the construction company and the driver of truck for wrongful death.

The victim–a Columbia, South Carolina native–was crossing the road in his motorized wheelchair when the driver, an employee of P&S Construction, hit and killed the 67-year-old man. 

The driver and P&S Construction Company contest that the man was negligent for crossing the road when he did and that the accident was unavoidable. The two daughters of the man allege that their father had the right of way as a pedestrian and that all drivers are responsible for the front end of their vehicles when in motion.  

The accident has stirred national attention in everyone from insurance companies to safety inspectors to personal injury attorneys, and even assisted suicide advocates. After the details of the accident were revealed, some have argued that the man may have purposely rolled his wheelchair in front of the commercial truck, stating that the defense's claims that the man was grossly negligent, careless, and reckless may be enough to prove as much.

The daughters of the man, however, have filed a wrongful death suit. The two women are alleging that their father had the right of way to cross the street when the dump truck was stopped a red light. When the light turned green, the driver proceeded through the crosswalk, not seeing the man in the wheelchair as he turned the corner. To make matters worse, the driver dragged the man for several feet after he had fallen from his wheelchair, causing even greater harm and the injuries that likely killed him.

A warrant for reckless homicide was initially issued by police investigating the scene back in June of 2012. The warrant stated that the driver of the dump truck failed to stop prior to the thick white line (stop bar) for a red traffic signal at the intersection and that the defendant also failed to yield to the pedestrian, who had the right of way in the crosswalk. In addition, the warrant said that the driver showed "wanton disregard for the safety of others."

Delicate situations such as these must be paid close attention. As court proceedings continue and more details unfold, it will interesting to see if justice is ultimately served. People who find themselves in situations such as this are instructed to retain an excellent personal injury attorney as soon as possible, whether the accident happened to them or someone they love, in order to get the best possible advice before speaking to anyone and avoid statute of limitations laws.

Source: Go Erie, "Daughters sue over SC man's wheelchair death" 2 December 2013

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