Driving involves a certain degree of risk, and not all accidents are preventable. In an update to a story we brought you on Oct. 5, recent developments may help one Tennessee community that continues to grieve the loss of two members. Police now believe that driver negligence may have led to the fatal crash, and charges have been issued in the matter.
The incident took place in mid-September, as a church van was returning to Maryville, Tennessee from a trip. A 21-year-old man driving an SUV crashed into the van. The driver of the van and a 16-year-old girl were killed in the crash. In addition, other occupants in the van were also injured.
Police now believe that the driver of the SUV was impaired at the time of the crash. The investigation into the incident led to the discovery of methylone in the vehicle he was driving. Methylone is a narcotic commonly known as bath salts.
A Tennessee grand jury has now indicted the driver on charges of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, reckless aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drugs. As he moves to trial, the families of the injured and deceased victims of this crash may find comfort in knowing that justice may be reached. However, because driver negligence appears to be a causal factor in the crash, they also retain the right to move forward with wrongful death or personal injury suits against the man. Such civil actions could help them to cover some of the expenses associated with the crash, and could also provide an additional measure of justice in the matter if negligence is established by relevant proof.
Source: The Republic, “Man charged with homicide, other charges in fatal church van crash in Sevier County,” Nov. 8, 2012