A Sumter, SC sheriff’s deputy responding to reports of a deadly crash arrived to find that his wife was the victim. Teresa Browder, 45, was on her way to meet her husband when an SUV crossed the center line on Lewis Road, off Highway 15 in Sumter. The head-on collision, which occurred at 9 am on Wednesday, December 9, resulted in her death from blunt force trauma.
Douglas Wayne Browder, a deputy and first responder, arrived at the scene of the accident only to find his wife dead at the wheel of her car. Teresa Browder worked as a nurse at Clarendon Memorial Hospital and leaves behind three daughters in addition to her husband of 20 years
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis called the day of the accident “a tragic day for one of our officers, as well as our entire agency, as one of our family members deals with the loss of a loved one.” Hospital administrators where Teresa worked spoke of her kindness and gentleness as a nurse; Natalie Davis, the director of accreditation at Clarendon Health System said, “We are better people and a better organization for having had the privilege of knowing and working with Teresa.”
Causes of fatal accident under investigation
The circumstances surrounding the accident that claimed Teresa Browder’s life are still under investigation. The SUV that hit her car also hit a third vehicle. Teresa was killed despite the fact that she was wearing her seat belt and two other people injured in the accident were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.
The investigation will likely consider factors such as whether the driver of the SUV was operating the vehicle recklessly by speeding or disobeying other traffic laws in addition to crossing the median line. Other under consideration will be whether the driver was intoxicated, was under the influence of drugs, or was driving while distracted.
Police will take into consideration physical evidence providing insight into these questions, any drug or alcohol tests administered to the driver, and eyewitness testimony provided by those at the scene, including driver and passengers in the third car.
Civil or criminal charges a possibility
The police will have to finish a through investigation of the accident in order to determine who was at fault. However, factors such as drug or alcohol use could result in criminal charges for the driver of the SUV.
Whether or not criminal charges are filed, it may also be possible for Browder’s family or for the other parties who were injured to file a civil suit in order to claim damages sustained because of negligent or reckless driving.
Compensation could include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages or earning potential, pain and suffering, and, in the case of the Browder family, wrongful death.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident which you believe was caused by another’s reckless driving, you may have grounds for litigation. Please contact The Jeffcoat Firm to schedule a free consultation with a highly experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.