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Fatal Weekend Wreck in Charlotte

Drunk Driving Among US College Students Still at an Alarming RateCharlotte, N.C. – A terrible tragedy occurred in Charlotte Friday night, leaving one person dead and another seriously injured. These things are shockingly sad at any time of year, but perhaps no more emotional than during the holidays.

Police have charged Robert John Leahy, 46, with driving while impaired, two counts of hit-and-run, no operator’s license, felony death by vehicle, and felony serious injury by vehicle.

Leahy is said to have been driving a 2011 Infiniti, while impaired, along Old Statesville Road shortly before 11:30 pm on Friday night. Leahy rear-ended a moped driven by Phillip Brice Black, 19. The impact was so great that the moped became stuck in the front end of the vehicle.

Valerie Shaak, 22, succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the collision. The couple had just left work near Northlake Mall before the crash. The couple was looking forward to the holidays, with Shaak showing off a new ring that Leahy had purchased for her just that day.

Co-workers call the couple “the sweetest people you would ever meet.”

Leahy left the scene of the accident, driving a mile away from the scene before leaving his vehicle and running on foot. Leahy was located by CMPD’s K-9 and helicopter units and transported to Carolinas Medical Center with injuries.

Unfortunately, these two young peoples’ lives were cut short by a person who should not have been driving sober, much less impaired. It is a senseless tragedy that has left family and friends shaken and grieving.

At the time of this writing, Leahy remained in the Mecklenburg County Jail.

Impaired driving is a serious crime that often impacts innocent individuals. There is no better time than the holidays to remind people that drinking and driving is never a good idea…even one drink can affect your judgment and reflexes.

If you live in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, you have options when it comes to returning home safely.

Safe Ride Home offers rides home for anyone in the Charlotte area. A uniformed driver will arrive at your location and drive you home in the comfort of your own vehicle. Another member of staff, called the chaser, will follow, returning the driver to the company. Payment is due at the time of service.

Zingo provides rides every day of the week from 9 pm to 3 am or by reservation. A Zingo driver arrives at your location on a foldable scooter. The scooter is placed in your trunk, the driver takes you home in your own car, and the driver returns to base on his or her scooter.

Several more option can be found on Drinking and Driving.org.

No matter what the cost of these services, they are always cheaper than an OVI. If you have had anything to drink, using one of these services can save your life and the life of others.

If you have been charged with an OVI or have been injured as a result of someone else’s impairment, contact the experienced car accident attorneys in Charlotte today. We will fight for your rights! Call now!

Posted In: Car Accidents
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