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Driver charged with DUI in crash that critically injured Nitro man

The group Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that the number of DUI arrests in West Virginia dropped in 2013 from the previous year, when drunk driving-related accidents cost the state's citizens some $437 million. Nonetheless, people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs still cause considerable harm.

Earlier this month, a 34-year-old St. Albans' man was arrested for drunk driving in a serious crash that left another man in critical condition. The victim, a 28-year-old resident of Nitro, is at a hospital in Charleston with a broken neck and ribs, as well as injuries to his face after the car in which he was a passenger was "T-boned" by the defendant. The impact was so severe that the victim was thrown from the car. It was not reported whether or not he was wearing a seat belt. The other people in the car in which the victim was riding were not seriously injured. The driver of the car that struck them was reportedly uninjured.

The collision occurred on the Nitro-St. Albans bridge shortly before midnight on Dec. 12. The bridge was closed for approximately five hours in the aftermath of the crash. Although it was uncertain at first whether the victim was going to survive, his mother says she believes he will make it, saying that it's "in the Lord's hands."

The defendant, who failed multiple sobriety tests on the scene, was told by a judge that he could be released on $15,000 bail. If he is found guilty of the charges, he could be incarcerated for two years.

If this victim survives, he will have a long recovery ahead of him, and will likely be suffering from the effects of the crash for longer than the two years that the defendant may serve in prison. A civil lawsuit could allow him receive financial compensation to help cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses that he and his family will incur as the result of the crash.

Source:   WCHS-TV, "Victim In ICU After Police Say He Was Hit By DUI Driver" Stephen DiPietrantonio, Dec. 13, 2013

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