Alleged Drunk Driver Strikes Ambulance Transporting Toddler
A 2-year-old boy who was injured in a collision involving a suspected drunk driver and the ambulance transporting the child passed away from complications of a brain tumor, according to an autopsy that was released this Monday.
Braylon Hunter Jenkins was being transported by ambulance on US-52 to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from Virginia on February 11 at around 1:15 a.m. when the ambulance was struck on the left side by a 2003 Honda Accord being driven by Jose Martin Duran Romero. The ambulance flipped over near the Liberty Street exit in the southbound lanes of US-52.
The 27-year-old Romero had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, which is over twice the legal limit of 0.08. He was arrested and charged with DWI, failure to reduce speed and driving without an operator’s license. He has not been charged in Jenkins’ death.
According to the autopsy, Braylon’s cause of death was a loss of oxygen to the brain caused by brain swelling. This swelling was related to a primitive neuroectodermal brain tumor.
The autopsy also said that traumatic extubation contributed to the boy’s death. This means that during the accident, a tube (most likely a breathing tube) was knocked loose from Jenkin’s body. Although doctor replaced this tube with another to help Braylon breathe, he remained unresponsive and his condition continued to worsen until the family asked doctors to withdraw life support.
Legal Options For Families of DUI Crash Victims in North Carolina
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of CrimeVictim.Attorney helps families affected by DUI accidents find justice and financial compensation. Here is his perspective on liability for drunk driving accidents in North Carolina:
In North Carolina, like all other states, people who are injured by drunk drivers, along with the families of those killed by them, often have grounds for either a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the individual who caused the accident. These lawsuits can provide financial compensation for all damages related to injuries or death suffered in the accident, including medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
North Carolina also has dram shop laws, which allow alcohol vendors to be sued if they:
- Negligently provide alcohol to someone under age 21,
- that person causes a car accident while under the influence of the alcohol provided to them, and
- the accident and resulting injuries were “proximately caused” by the minor’s drunk driving.
Additionally, social host laws in North Carolina allow hosts of private gatherings to be held liable for providing alcohol to a guest who causes an alcohol-related accident if that host:
- provides alcohol the to the guest who caused the accident,
- knew or should have known that the guest being served was already intoxicated, and
- knew the guest would be driving after being served alcohol.
If you or someone you love was recently hit by a drunk driver and you’re looking for justice through the legal system, you can learn more by speaking with an experienced DUI victims lawyer.
US-52 Near the Liberty Street Exit in Winston-Salem