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Eric Washburn
Eric Washburn
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West Virginia Man Pleads Not Guilty to DUI in Fatal Crash

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A man from Elkview, West Virginia who stands accused of causing a fatal car accident while he was high on drugs in early 2017 has pleaded not guilty.

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The 55-year-old man pleaded not guilty to driving¬†under the influence causing serious bodily injury and driving on roadways laned for traffic during a hearing before Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Charles King in the Kanawha County Judicial Annex. The man’s trial is set to start on Dec. 11.

According to media reports, the accused driver killed a man in a March 12 car crash on Frame Road in Elksview, West Virginia. The driver is alleged to have crossed into another lane while he was driving on Frame Road. This alleged action led to the car accident that killed Kidd. Police noted that there were not any skid marks or evidence that showed that the defendant attempted to slow down or avoid the wreck. His BAC was above .08%, which is the legal limit in West Virginia. He also is alleged to have tested positive for amphetamines, opiates, ecstasy, and benzodiazepine.

At the time of the accident, the accused had been released from prison and was under supervised release. He was convicted of manufacturing drugs in 2005 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. His 11 year supervised release began in 2015. Provisions of the supervised release required the man to not drink alcohol or to possess illegal drugs.

Our View

All of our personal injury and DUI attorney are saddened that the alleged actions in this DUI case led to the death of another person. Our work as personal injury attorneys on many wrongful death and personal injury verdicts and settlements has taught us that driving under the influence is a scourge in America. Every day, 28 people in the US die in car accidents that involve a driver that is impaired by drugs or alcohol, or both. Drugs other than alcohol are involved in 16% of all car accidents. Some of those drugs are illegal and others are legal.

Our personal injury attorneys in Virginia strongly support stiff sentencing for convicted drunk drivers who kill others. We also are pleased to do our part by suing these convicted criminals in civil court for their role in causing the deaths of innocent people. We hope that there will continue to be more enforcement of drunk driving laws in West Virginia and other states. It also is helpful that more states are requiring ignition interlock systems for all offenders. This helps to reduce repeat DUI crashes.