When people in Minnesota witness a serious car accident on the highway, their first instinct is usually to pull over and help the people involved. But what if the rescuers themselves become the victims of a drunk driver accident?
This scenario allegedly played out on I-94 in St. Paul at nighttime just over a year ago. Two motorists pulled over and got out of their vehicles to assist a third whose car had left the road and overturned. After the driver of the overturned car emerged, the trio was struck by another car. Each of the three received serious injuries, and unfortunately one of the Good Samaritans was killed.
According to police, the driver of the car that struck them was intoxicated. He reportedly smelled of alcohol, as well as exhibiting bloodshot eyes and impaired speech. He was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DWI. He was later charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.
Police say that in addition to being over the legal limit for blood alcohol content, the driver was exceeding the speed limit at the time of the crash. He also reportedly did not apply the brakes until almost the very moment of the collision.
Drivers have a duty to others on the road not to drink and drive. This is especially true when driving at night during a dark Minnesota winter, when roads may be icy or slippery. This time of year, people need to slow down and stay sober behind the wheel.
People injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver may be eligible to get compensation if driver negligence is involved. Compensation may be recovered for lost wages, hospital bills and long-term care. Drunk drivers need to be held accountable for the damage they cause.
Source: Star Tribune, "Mpls. driver who killed Good Samaritan, injured two charged," Joy Powell, Dec. 19, 2012