North Charleston Man Charged with Felony DUI After Fatal Accident
A North Charleston man has been charged with felony drunk driving and related offenses after one person was killed and another three injured in a serious accident on Saturday, January 26.
According to the police, witnesses said that shortly before 2:20 a.m. a Ford pickup truck ran through a red light at the intersection of Meeting and Columbus streets and collided with the passenger side of a Mazda Sedan containing four passengers. The Mazda then careened into a building near the intersection.
The passenger in the front seat of the Mazda was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was brought to a nearby hospital in serious conditions. The other two passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were also hospitalized. The deceased has been identified as 32-year-old William Kappel Jr.
The driver of the Ford pickup truck, 30-year-old Thomas C. Garris, was also hospitalized. Police found him at the hospital and determined that he was under the influence. He was charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death, felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, and reckless homicide.
Legal Recourse for Victims of Drunk Driver Accidents in South Carolina
Attorney Brian Kent of CrimeVictim.Attorney helps drunk driving victims and their families recover the financial compensation they deserve in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on the legal options available to these victims in South Carolina:
When innocent people are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, they often have the options to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the driver. In addition, residents of South Carolina and many other states may also have the option to file what’s known as a “dram shop” lawsuit, which allows alcohol vendors to be sued for providing alcohol to the drunk driver before the accident.
While South Carolina does not have specific dram shop statutes, various state Supreme Court rulings have provided precedent for these types of claims. In South Carolina, the victims of drunk driving accidents may sue alcohol providers under the following circumstances:
- The vendor provided alcohol to someone who was under 21 years of age, or
- someone who was visibly intoxicated at the time of the sale, and
- the person who caused the accident was intoxicated by the alcohol when the accident happened.
Have you or a loved one recently been hit by a drunk driver in South Carolina? Our experienced DUI victims lawyers want to help you get the support you deserve. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.