The 20-year-old man barreling through a red light at 70 miles per hour was only a couple years older than the students James Braga taught and coached at Middleborough High School.
Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that not only was the young man traveling at speeds in excess of 20 miles over the speed limit, his blood alcohol content was also measured at 0.11 percent and he was reportedly high on marijuana as well.
His recklessness allegedly resulted in the death of the 61-year-old soccer coach, retired business teacher and Vietnam-era Air Force veteran. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The sudden and tragic loss of this married father of three has sent shock waves through his Massachusetts community.
The drunk driver has reportedly been charged with motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol. There is evidence he may have been drag racing another vehicle at the time of the crash. A woman who was two cars behind the suspect reported he and the vehicle next to him were stopped at the red light, revving up their engines and creeping forward as they waited for the light to change. As soon as the light changed, the pair tore off, not stopping until one of them blew threw the next intersection, plowing into the victim.
It’s near where another drag-racing incident claim the life of a 16-year-old driver. A 19-year-old driver was convicted in that case of driving to endanger. This crash was likely compounded by the fact that the intersection where the crash occurred has already been deemed a “Dangerous Intersection” by local officials.
According to the National Safety Council, one out of every three deadly crashes involves someone who was speeding. Alcohol-impaired drivers also account for about a third of all fatal crashes. Combine these two factors, and it is almost inevitable that at the very least, someone is going to be seriously hurt.
This is not to say it wasn’t preventable.
Though this young man surely didn’t mean for someone to be killed as a result of his actions, he is responsible for them nonetheless.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reports that of male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were involved in fatal wrecks in 2010, nearly 40 percent were speeding at the time of the crash and another 25 percent had been drinking alcohol.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the factors that put young drivers more at risk than more experienced ones are:
- Young drivers are more likely to underestimate the level of danger they face or might not be able to recognize a potentially dangerous situation;
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration, the risk is higher for younger drivers than for those more experienced;
- Teens are more likely to drive faster and leave less of a distance between their vehicle and the others around them;
- With each additional male passenger in the vehicle, the risk of a crash goes up exponentially.
The CDC has said that graduated driver’s license programs are an effective way to reduce the number of fatal crashes involving young drivers because it allows them a chance to work their way up to a level of full responsibility.
But we must also combine those efforts with effective educational tools that drive home the point to young teens that speed, alcohol and car keys should never mix.
If you are injured in a Boston car accident, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Middleborough man charged in fatal crash held on $50K bail, March 14, 2013, Staff Report, MyFoxBoston
More Blog Entries:
Mass Traffic Safety: Fatalities Increase Nationally for the First Time Since 2005, Feb. 23, 2013, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog