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19 People Injured in Megabus Crash

April 17th, 2015

download (49) An accident involving a Megabus that was traveling from Chicago from Atlanta left 19 people injured on Monday.

According to the Indiana State Police, at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning  a southbound bus travelling on Interstate 65 crashed about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis when it rear ended a semi-truck that had been stopped for construction. The bus pushed the 18-wheeler into the back of two passenger vehicles.

Authorities say that the bus, operated by Megabus, was carrying a total of 63 passengers at the time of the accident. The 19 passengers who were injured were taken to area hospitals with only minor injuries.

Megabus officials said in a statement that they are fully cooperating with authorities while the accident is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There have been other recent crashes involving the low-cost carrier, Megabus. Authorities have ruled out alcohol as a factor in Monday’s accident.

Many people depend upon mass transit, such as traveling by bus in order to get to where they want to go at a more reasonable cost. Accidents, however, can happen. Injuries resulting from bus accidents can be serious or even deadly. Even when a company follows all Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, In The News

MADD Supports Ignition Interlock in NC

April 17th, 2015

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Three Senators in North Carolina have introduced legislation that would expand current interlock ignition laws to include all people convicted of drunk driving.

In the state, current law requires the installation of interlock ignition devices for repeat offenders, those who refuse to take a chemical alcohol test, and anyone who has a BAC of greater than 0.15.

SB 619, proposed by Senators Josh Stein, Bill Rabon, and E.S. Newton would strengthen the current law. All drunk driving offenders with a BAC of 0.08 and above would be required to have the devices installed on their vehicles. Twenty-four states already have a similar law on the books, including Virginia and Tennessee.

MADD is in full support of this initiative in North Carolina. According to LaRonda Scott, Executive Director of MADD North Carolina, “We can’t erase tragedies North Carolina has experienced, but we can prevent others from happening.”

In 2013, one-third of deaths on state roadways were caused by a drunk driver. During that year, 371 people were killed in the state.

One of MADD’s largest campaigns is to pass similar legislation in all 50 states. According to the CDC, ignition interlock devices are effective in reducing the incidence of drunk driving Read more

Posted In: Drunk Driving, In The News

DWIs Jamming NC Courts

April 15th, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. – While local police agencies are fighting to keep drunk drivers off of the streets in the interest of public safety, court systems are experiencing a back log. Local courts are finding it difficult to keep up with the number of new cases as North Carolina police amp up their efforts.

It is not unusual to see DWI checkpoints set up around local counties. Road blocks are set up and drivers are stopped. If you are intoxicated, plan on being arrested.

In Raleigh alone, federal grant money topping half a million dollars supports department efforts to man a DWI squad. During just one checkpoint early on a Saturday morning, Raleigh police arrested 18 people for drunk driving in a matter of two and a half hours.

Between January and November last year, police made close to 3,000 DWI arrests. Those numbers were up from 2013 when arrests totaled under 2,000.

Chief Justice Mark Martin is seeking to increase funding for a struggling court system that sees a backlog of DWI cases dating a year or more.

Martin is after $30 million to cover operating costs and increase salaries. Since 2008, operating funds have dropped more than 40 Read more

Posted In: Drunk Driving, In The News

Sober or Tipsy: Avoiding Golf Cart Accidents

April 13th, 2015

Golf carts are a popular way to get around cities in North Carolina. From gated communities to campgrounds, from sporting events to college campuses, these handy little vehicles make getting where you need to go a breeze. As golf carts become increasingly popular, so do golf cart accidents. When not driven with proper safety in mind, these machines can be just as dangerous as a sedan.

Originally made to carry golfers and their gear, the design of the cart has changed over the years to accommodate different purposes. What carts all have in common, however, is their ability to carry passengers short distances while never reaching speeds over 15 mph. In North Carolina, anyone 15-years and older can legally drive a golf cart.

Unfortunately, the number of injuries and deaths incurred in golf cart accidents tells us that these four-wheeled vehicles are not the safest choice. Injuries sustained in accidents include burns, lacerations, fractures, spinal injuries, and paralyzing injuries. Although people of any age are susceptible to golf cart accidents, one-third of those injured are children.

There are 10 causes of golf cart accidents that are most prevalent:

  • Riding with legs or arms outside of the vehicle
  • Going downhill in
Read more Posted In: Safety Tips

Ethanol Tanker Leak Keeps People from Homes

April 12th, 2015

download (26)Some residents of Rowan County are still not allowed to go back to their homes more than 36 hours after a fatal accident and hazardous chemical spill. According to authorities, a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of ethanol fuel leaked into the surrounding soil.   Emergency crews and a Hazmat team have been called to the crash site near Bringle Ferry Road.  The cleanup efforts have begun, however, it could take weeks before the job is finished.

While emergency crews have stated that none of the fuel has reached any streams or creeks, there are still concerns about the chemicals having tainted a nearby well. The accident involved one fatality.  The driver of the semi-truck was identified as James Sechler, 63 of Mooresville. Two families who lived near the crash site were evacuated. The residents are being kept out of their homes until they crews completely examine the area and are certain that the well has not been contaminated.

After an accident happens, sometimes it can be difficult to determine just who is at fault.  That is the time when having professional legal advice is essential.

If you or a loved one has been involved in or affected by Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, In The News, Truck Accidents

DWI Myths Busted

April 10th, 2015

If you get arrested and convicted for driving while impaired in North Carolina, you will undoubtedly face harsh punishment. From fines to possible jail time, attorney fees to license suspension, you may be facing consequences that you weren’t prepared for. Let’s take a moment to consider, and debunk, the most popular myths surrounding impaired driving.

Driving
Many people are under the impression that the only way you can be arrested for drunk driving it to be…well…driving. If this is what you believe, we are here to tell you how wrong you are. You do not need to be behind the wheel, you only need to be known by law enforcement to have been recently driving.

Breathalyzer Accuracy
Law enforcement agencies and courts rely on breathalyzer results. Unfortunately, a breathalyzer cannot accurately measure the content of alcohol in your blood. If you do not feel that your results were accurate, you have the right to ask for a blood test.

Submission
If you are like most, you believe that you must cooperate and do everything that is asked of you. Not true. Consider your Miranda Warning: Anything you do or say can and will be used against you in a Read more

Posted In: Drunk Driving

Mother Sentenced to No Less Than Three Years

April 8th, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. – No parent wants to outlive their child. No parent wants to be responsible for their child’s death. Unfortunately, both of these things are true for Laura Lynne Smith who will spend at least the next three years in prison for her part in a car crash that killed her son.

Smith plead guilty in front of a judge on Thursday to the charge of felony death by vehicle and DWI. The charges stem from the October 13, 2014 crash on Creedmoor Road that claimed the life of 12-year-old Anthony Smith.

According to the District Attorney, Smith was operating a 1997 Chevy Suburban while impaired. Smith swerved along the road, came close to hitting another car, and ultimately slammed into a row of trees between Lynn and Sawmill roads. Her son was found deceased in the back seat when law enforcement arrived.

The child was killed by a combination of forces, including the crushed roof of the vehicle and debris flying through the windshield. It took emergency responders 20 minutes to cut the elder Smith from the vehicle who spent five weeks in a local hospital with two broken wrists, liver damage, and a minor brain injury.

Smith Read more

Posted In: Drunk Driver, In The News

NC Science Festival Perfect for Families

April 6th, 2015

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that family is important to us here at Auger & Auger, as are children and education. We are always looking for entertaining things to do with our families and if you find yourself doing the same, we would like to take a moment to highlight the North Carolina Science Festival taking place in locations across the state.

This wonderful festival is designed for children and adults alike and events can often be found in 95 counties. Here are just a few of the highlights of the close to 800 events taking place April 10 – April 26.

April 11 – Dr. Bob’s Sonic Workshop will lead presentations for children aged 7 through 13. Children will interactively learn about sound travel, vibrations, pitch, amplitude, and waveforms. The event will be held at Charlotte’s ImaginOn. The event is free but attendees must register by April 10.

Head to Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia to celebrate Earth Day 2015. There are hands-on activities planned, as well as crafts and games. Families can enjoy food grown locally as well as live music.

April 13 – If you have a teen that Read more

Posted In: In The News

AAA Releases Report on Distracted Driving

April 3rd, 2015

One of the most well-known auto clubs in the nation, AAA, released a report last week recommending new laws that ban the use of cell phones and other mobile devices by teenage drivers. This is not the same old ban on texting and driving, this is the prohibition of any use of a mobile device by a teenage driver. But why?

Previous estimates had teenage distracted driving as the cause of vehicle collisions in about 14% of incidents. The startling report by AAA raises this to 58%, and it is not an estimate. The data was collected by watching real videos of 1700 teenage drivers.

The 7-year study shows that teens do more than drive when they are behind the wheel. Teens were observed reading text messages, talking on their phones, updating social media statuses, and even performing personal hygiene. The fact that teens drive while distracted is not news – the fact that the statistics are so much higher than was once thought is.

When it comes to distracted drivers, teens do not always know that they are, indeed, distracted. In one instance, a teen on his cell phone, looked both ways and was still struck by a vehicle Read more

Posted In: Car Accidents, Distracted Driver

Three Killed in Scaffolding Accident

April 2nd, 2015

Scaffold

RALEIGH, N.C. – Three construction workers were killed in a scaffolding accident on Monday, March 23, 2015. The accident occurred in the 500 block of Fayetteville Street. A construction platform plummeted from the Charter Square building around 11 a.m. In addition to the three men killed, one worker was hurt and listed in serious condition at WakeMed.

According to witnesses, a popping sound was clearly audible, followed by the giving away of the scaffolding which then crashed to the ground. According to Choate, the contractor for the Charter Square project, the scaffolding was the “mast climber” design. The platform was built to go up the side of any building using a vertical column.

The scaffolding was being lowered toward the ground when it failed.

The contracting company is now investigating the incident.

The City of Raleigh, according to a news release, does not have any system in place for the inspection of scaffolding systems in or on city construction sites. The North Carolina Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division has 180 days from the date of the collapse to issue any citations.

Victims were identified as Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33 of Clinton, Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41 of Durham, Read more

Posted In: Workers' Compensation
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