Family and friends said goodbye to 15-year-old David Crutchfield, who was tragically killed on Sunday, January 3, 2016 in New Ellington, South Carolina. Those closest to him remember the teenager affectionately and said that he will be greatly missed.
Authorities reported that Crutchfield died shortly before 8:00 p.m. after a suspected drunk driver struck him with a Dodge Durango at the intersection of North Street and Washington Road. The suspect, 20-year-old Raymond Burns fled the scene after the incident occurred. He later turned himself in to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and has been charged with DUI with death, leaving the scene of an accident with death, and driving under suspension.
Several fundraisers were held at Wells Fargo Banks throughout the community (and at a Chick-fil-A on Eastgate Drive) to help the Crutchfield family with funeral expenses. A memorial was held for the Silver Bluff sophomore on January 7 at the Pineview Baptist Church, where his loved ones were grieving for their loss.
“I love and miss you David, and I know you’re looking down on me and I love you with all my heart,” Raemond Bagley, a close friend of the teen, said.
Additional details of the accident
Crutchfield was said to have been walking home on Sunday night to meet his 8:30 p.m. curfew when the pedestrian knock-down took place. The teenager died at the scene from multiple body trauma.
Records indicate that this is not Burns’ first set of charges; additional charges include: open container, contribution to the delinquency of a minor, and a bench warrant. Burns’ first court appearance is scheduled for March 11, 2016, where is expected to have an attorney present.
DUI hit-and-run liability
In the state of South Carolina, the uninjured party is required to inform law enforcement of the accident, which includes striking another vehicle, pedestrian, or private property. Should the property owner not be available, South Carolina law states that a reasonable attempt to inform the owner must be made.
Failing to complete that task in itself can result in the following consequences:
- Up-to a $5,000 fine
- At least 30 days in jail
- Driver’s license suspension
In terms of liability, it is best to secure the police report following an accident to prove which party was responsible for the incident. The report contains a section called Contributory Factors that detail possible reasons for the crash. Typically, failing to render aid after causing injury or death to another person, results in the suspect facing possible felony charges coupled with charges concerning the DUI.
In cases where liability cannot be proven—although in this case the suspect did step forward—the victim must use their own insurance policies to pay for damages or injuries that resulted from the collision.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, contact the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm. During your legal consultation, Mr. Jeffcoat can review your case and discuss your rights to compensation. Dial (803) 200-2000 to schedule your free consultation today.