Drunk Driver Causes Two Separate Car Crashes, Injures Five
A Myrtle Beach man was charged with felony driving under the influence and hit and run after causing two separate collisions and injuring five people in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Police responded to a hit-and-run collision Wednesday on 37th Avenue South. While assessing the collision, additional officers were called to a second car crash involving the same vehicle. Witnesses state that as police arrived, 60-year-old Gerald Carl Sudman “stumbled out of the vehicle where he laid down on the curb.” Officers reported a strong odor of alcohol on Sudman, who later woke up and grabbed a police officer by the neck, stating that he was “in grave danger.” Sudman was transported to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center and treated for his injuries.
Five individuals were transported to the hospital for treatment, including one who suffered a fractured vertebra requiring emergency surgery. As the injury contributed to “protracted loss and impairment of the function of a body member,” Sudman was charged with a felony DUI, and remains in jail with a $35,000 bond.
The Consequences of Felony DUI
While all types of driving under the influence charges carry consequences, felony DUI punishments are far more serious. A person commits felony DUI faces:
- Between one and 25 years in prison;
- A fine between $10,000 and $25,000; and
- A suspended driver’s license for five additional years after the individual’s imprisonment has ended.
Damages in a Felony DUI Lawsuit
The damages which can be sought in a personal injury suit are similar to those in other personal injury lawsuits. Damages injured victim can recover include:
- Medical expenses (both immediately after the accident occurred and future expenses related to injuries caused by the accident);
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost wages (both immediately after the accident and wages that will be lost in the future);
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of companionship.
In addition to such compensatory damages, an individual who has been injured by a drunk driver may be able to recover punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the at-fault driver and deter similar conduct in the future.