Despite strict enforcement efforts over the years, drunk drivers continue to leave a path of mayhem and carnage on Georgia roads. In one of the latest tragedies, an Atlanta man and a young woman were killed in a drunk driving accident when the woman drove the wrong way on Georgia 400 after drinking with a friend.
The wrong-way driver and her friend had been drinking in a bar in Atlanta. A security employee of the bar took away the driver's car keys, but handed them to a third woman who gave them back to the driver after they had driven a short distance from the bar. The woman's passenger says they then drove around lost for a while before getting onto the freeway. They drove up the exit ramp and started driving south in the northbound lanes. The woman's passenger claims they had just realized they were going the wrong way, and were about to pull over, when the collision occurred.
The victim, a 44-year-old man, was hit head-on by the woman's car. He was on his way home and was just about to exit the freeway when the wreck occurred. His family said life had been looking up for him before the accident; he was engaged to be married and had just chosen a location to open his first restaurant.
The wrong-way driver was also killed. Her passenger, hospitalized with serious injuries, now admits the two of them were drunk when they got on the freeway headed the wrong way.
When a loved one is killed in a drunk driving accident, the family has the right under Georgia law to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the party who was at fault. Where the at-fault driver was also killed in the crash, the claim can be made against his or her estate, and their insurance company will be obligated to pay damages up to the limits of their liability coverage. Damages recoverable include loss of income, loss of support and loss of companionship.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Family of dead man blames wrong-way driver, passenger," Craig Schneider, Aug. 30, 2012