The decision made by one Myrtle Beach man to get behind the wheel and drive despite the fact that he was legally intoxicated has resulted in the death of an elderly Tennessee woman.
The victim who lost her life is 70-year-old Carolyn Hicks who lived in Knoxville. A second person, age 63, who was involved in the accident was severely injured. The hospital has listed the injuries as potentially life threatening.
The driver who caused the accident is 33-year-old Paulino Maceda Meza who has been charged with a variety of criminal charges that include: driving without a license and driving vehicle at greater speed than is reasonable, felony driving under the influence resulting in death, causing great bodily injury, and felony DUI. Additional charges could be filed against him.
The police have also discovered that at the time of the accident, a bench warrant had been served on Meza.
The accident occurred on Dec. 19 at 8:20 p.m. on South Kings Highway near 27th Avenue South. Hicks passed away about an hour later.
Police reports indicate that Maceda was driving his Pontiac Grand Prix at a speed that was much higher than the posted rate. He was heading north while the victims were in the process of turning left off of 27th Avenue South and onto Kings Highway. Their Ford Taurus was struck on the rear passenger side.
At the scene of the accident, Maceda claimed that he’d drank two beers before getting behind the wheel.
When police began questioning him, Maceda said he spoke English and swore in English, but later requested the services of an interpreter. He was unable to provide officers with his name and also had to write down rather than vocalize, his birthdate.
In their report, officers noted that Maceda not only smelled of alcohol, but that he’d also failed multiple sobriety tests. His bench warrant states that Maceda had been charged with cocaine trafficking.
“I still have trouble believing that, despite all the warnings, lectures, and stiff penalties regarding drunk driving, people still decide to do it, unmindful that their actions could result in death and severe injuries of others,” said Attorney Joseph Sandefur of Myrtle Beach’s top personal injury firm at joeandmartin.com/myrtle-beach/. “I hope that the family of the victim in this case decides to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against this driver.”
The legal system considers any death that occurs as a direct result of someone else’s actions, such as driving after they’ve been drinking, to be a wrongful death. Even if the person responsible for the loss of life isn’t charged with any crimes, the family of the person who passed away has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants. The wrongful death lawsuit provides family members with the means to recoup the financial loss they suffered from the loved one’s death. Most plaintiff’s in these cases seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income.