The driver of the SUV that struck and killed two moped riders early on Sunday, November 8 has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
Henry McKenzie, 26, of Lake City, was driving a 2006 Chevy trailblazer on Oliver Road when his vehicle hit the moped carrying a driver and a passenger. McKenzie was charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in the death of the moped riders. He was also charged with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death after he fled the site of the accident.
The victims of the accident have been identified as Jerome Green, 47, and Tameika Mclean, 32, both of Effingham, SC, by Coroner Keith VonLutcken. McKenzie was initially detained at Florence Detention Center. Police are investigating the accident.
DUI accidents and civil liability
Individuals charged with driving under the influence may face jail time, fines and suspension of license. The extent of jail time and the amount of penalties will vary based on whether the DUI is a first time offense or is the latest of many incidents. Since McKenzie’s actions resulted in the death of two people and he fled the scene of the accident, he may be facing significant repercussions for his actions.
However, he may also be liable for civil penalties. A driver who injures victims in a car accident due to negligent or reckless behavior, including DUI, may be sued in a personal injury claim. Compensation may cover such factors as medical expenses, long term rehabilitation costs, loss of income, loss of earning potential, or pain and suffering. In addition, the driver may also face punitive charges that are intended to punish and deter similar actions in the future.
Legal options for drunk driving victims
Even if a driver is acquitted from the criminal charges brought against him, he can still be charged in a civil lawsuit for the losses and damages that his victims incur. It is important that victims of a DUI accidents and their families understand their legal options fully. There are time limits in which a civil claim may be filed, making it imperative to seek an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
South Carolina personal injury lawyer Michael Jeffcoat advocates for those who have been injured or lost a family member due to a car accident with a drunk driver in South Carolina. Please call (803) 200-2000 to set up a free case review to learn more about your rights to compensation.