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Duke Student Killed Returning from Spring Break

April 17th, 2014

Statistically speaking, getting in your car in the morning and driving to work is one of the most dangerous activities you will participate in each day. Turn that car ride from a simple work commute to an 8 or more hour return trip from Blackwater River in Florida to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the degree of danger you put yourself in increases exponentially as you are exposed to more distracted drivers, large trucks, and drunk drivers. Rebecca DeNardis, a senior with a full scholarship to Duke with a double major in mathematics and computer science, was killed by a drunk driver in Crestview, Florida while making this exact trip.

After a week of camping and canoeing on the Blackwater River with Duke’s Outdoor Adventure Program, five students and the program director headed back to school as an intoxicated man, Martin Zackery Hale, made the fatal decision to get into his car and continue onto the road.   Hale crossed over the Interstate 10 median and struck the van, killing DeNardis and severely injuring another student.

According to DeNaris’s father, his daughter had many gifts, including being bright enough and talented enough to gain a full scholarship to Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Drunk Driver, Wrongful Death

Dog Attacks Child in Murrieta, CA

April 17th, 2014

Dog attacks are uncommon, but do happen. Dogs can be on leashes with collars and still break free to attack people. In one such case in Murrieta, CA, in a Lowe’s Home Improvement store, a purebred Akita escaped from his owner and bit a child in the face, leaving him with 50 stitches.

The story itself is cut and dry: child approaches a large dog, a large dog attacks; but the implications and questions which arise from stories like this in court and in the media are much farther reaching than the attack alone.

The foremost question being asked here is: who is to blame? Is the owner who did have his dog around the leash, who allowed his violent dog to get too close to a child to blame? Are the parents, who should have kept a 3-year old away from a large Akita, negligent? Or is the store somehow responsible for this damage, because they let the dog owner and his dog into the store, while the official Lowe’s position is to not allow non-service animals in store?

Those around the nation have commented:

Sarah Farmay commented, “why did they not stop the three year old? No one Read more

Posted In: Dog and Animal Attacks

Whiplash Injury Can Be Damaging

April 16th, 2014

Whiplash is a common ailment from car accidents, affecting nearly one million Americans each year. We illustrate what causes whiplash, how to recognize it’s symptoms, and what you can do to prevent injury in the future.

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Texting While Driving Turns Fatal

February 27th, 2014

Since 2009, texting while driving has been illegal in North Carolina, but that did not stop one local woman. On February 8, a Belmont woman was charged with second-degree murder for the death of an elderly Belmont woman, and has been charged with texting while driving and driving while intoxicated, according to WCNC Charlotte. The driver was operating her 1999 GMC Jimmy SUV when she hit a 75 year-old pedestrian with. According to witnesses, the woman was dragged down the road by the truck until the vehicle finally came to a stop after hitting a row of trashcans. The elderly woman lay on the street and yelled for help. Her husband rushed to her side, but she later died at an area hospital.

The driver is also charged with reckless driving, driving while impaired, texting while driving, and driving without a valid license along with second-degree murder. Her license had been suspended for 12 months following a DWI conviction in October 2013. She was also charged in January 2011 for a Level 4 DWI. Her criminal record lists other previous drug and alcohol charges. She is being held in the Gaston County jail without bond.

Neighbors are angry, worried Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Drunk Driver, Texting and Cell Phone Use

Handicapped Elderly Driver Kills Three Churchgoers

February 27th, 2014

An elderly Florida woman killed three people and seriously injured four more as she tried to back out of a handicapped parking space. As the 79 year old woman was trying exit the parking lot, she put her vehicle in reverse and accelerated backwards, hitting a group of seven elderly women before she jumped a curb, backed over some small trees, and ended up partially submerged in a creek. Neither she nor her passenger was injured. According to news sources, one person died at the scene and two died at an area hospital. The four injured churchgoers are in serious condition.

This tragedy hit the small community hard; as the Pastor tries to comfort his congregation and the victims’ families, the 79 year old woman who killed and injured so many is likely dealing with feelings of guilt for failing to put her vehicle in drive before accelerating. Perhaps Florida law is also to blame for this accident. Florida law requires that drivers 80 years of age and older pass a vision test and renew their licenses every 6 years, rather than every 8 years as is required of younger drivers. Some experts argue that the law does not Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Elderly Drivers

Bond Set at $1 Million for DWI/Distracted Driving Case

February 14th, 2014

Eli ChristmanTexting and driving do not mix under any circumstances.  Put prescription medication on top of that, and you have a recipe for car accidents and fatalities.  Belinda Hudspeth learned that the hard way, as she is now facing charges for allegedly hitting and killing Lavon Ramsey.

Hudspeth regrets her decision to text and drive.  She’s already faced two DWI convictions and one for drug trafficking.  She was sentenced to probation in those cases, but now she’s realizing the depth of her actions.  “I just want to apologize to the family,” Hudspeth said in court.

Ms. Hudspeth’s bond was set at $1 million.  The family was in tears as the bond was set.  “My momma didn’t mean to do it.  It was an accident,” said Angela Walker, Hudspeth’s daughter.

While these types of things do happen, and she didn’t hit Lavon Ramsey on purpose, the fact still remains that Ramsey is dead and Hudspeth is facing charges because she briefly stopped paying attention to the road to answer a text.  One has to ask if the text that she was sending was worth someone’s life.

Chuck Ramsey, the husband of the deceased, says that he forgives Hudspeth for answering the Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Distracted Driver, Drunk Driver, In The News, Wrongful Death

Charlotte Bicycle Accidents On The Rise

February 13th, 2014

This past October, a young missionary from Charlotte was killed while riding his bicycle in California. Even though the recent high-school graduate was wearing a helmet, he died of his injuries. Despite bike safety awareness, bike collisions with motor vehicles are on the rise and so are fatalities. Between the months of January and July 2012, 14 pedestrians and cyclists were killed by motor vehicles. By the end of the year, there were 22 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

Analysis by the NC Department of Transportation found that most pedestrian accidents happen uptown, and in low-income areas where people rely on walking to their destination or to get to public transportation.  The community is demanding safer streets for our pedestrians and cyclists. Charlotte, along with other Sunbelt cities such as Phoenix and Orlando, expanded exponentially during the automobile age, meaning our city was built for cars. Charlotte’s goal is to build 375 miles of sidewalks by 2035, however, city planners are running into funding problems as the city council keeps rejecting spending plans.  Municipalities across the country are trying to renovate their cities into bike and pedestrian-friendly communities while also tightening budgets in a tough economy. Local residents are urging lawmakers Read more

Posted In: Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents

Cyclist Stuck In Windshield

February 13th, 2014

lowes+pinned+pedestrian+012014A Wisconsin bicycle delivery man lodged in the windshield of the car that struck him claims he turned to the driver and said, “Hello, I’m the guy you hit on the bicycle.”

In a bizarre twist of events, the driver did not respond and instead drove into a stop sign and then hit another vehicle before he got home, with the cyclist still stuck in his windshield. The driver finally noticed the cyclist when he came to a stop outside his home.  According to the cyclist, the driver questioned who he was and what was he doing inside his car, before locking his car doors and going into his house. The driver is now facing a few preliminary charges, including suspicion of drunk driving, suspicion of hit-and-run and suspicion of failing to render aid.

The cyclist is lucky that he walked away from the situation relatively unscathed. Actually, he is lucky to be walking at all. In order to be more visible to drivers, the cyclist, a newspaper carrier, was wearing a reflective vest and his bike was outfitted with front and rear flashers. Unfortunately, motorists fail to look out for cyclists and pedestrians way too often. This month in Read more

Posted In: Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Drunk Driver

Fire at Daycare

February 13th, 2014

As a parent, you place a lot of time and effort in choosing the right day care center for your kids, and you hope your decision on which center to choose is the right one.  Four Charlotte families may be rethinking the day care center they had entrusted with their children after a fire destroyed a local home that also serves as a day care center in North Charlotte.   The rules for home day care centers are not the same as for other child care facilities.  According to DHHS, this particular home daycare was license and was operating in accordance with the number of children allowed.  This fire was ruled an accident, and seems to have started from some disposed charcoal in the back of the home. All four children and one adult escaped safely without injury.

No parent wants to receive the phone call in which they learn their child’s safety was compromised by the facility they trusted. Everyone in the day care center is lucky to have walked away from the blaze unharmed.  Under NC law, the staff to child ratio for in-home child care is much more restrictive than the ratio required for an independent child care Read more

Posted In: Daycare Accidents

Be Safe Out There

February 13th, 2014

Over the past few days, the wintry weather has kicked into high gear, blanketing snow and ice over the entirety of North Carolina.  While these conditions are extraordinary, safety measures to prevent accidents are not.  The police department reported that they were responding to 105 wrecks in the Charlotte area on Wednesday.

What types of accidents are happening?

  • Drivers get run off the road to avoid getting hit by others
  • Downed power lines are tangling up the roads
  • Overturned vehicles
  • Multi-car pile-ups

These types of accidents are common during snow and ice storms, but there are ways that you can prevent these types of accidents from happening to you.

Stay off the roads

We definitely understand that you are under pressure to go to work, but is it necessary to risk getting into an accident?  If your employer allows it is there any possibility of remote working?

Drive Slowly

We cannot emphasize this one enough.  Speed plays a part in a huge number of accidents.  When the weather is frightful, it’s time to slow down at least 10mph to the fact that there’s snow and ice on the roadways.  If you still feel that you’re going too fast then slow Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, In The News
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