A car accident near Huntington, West Virginia claimed the life of a young girl and has left the community with a lot of questions about the driver of the vehicle.
The car crash occurred in Wayne County, where a 6-year-old girl was trying to cross a street with her father. Suddenly, a motor vehicle being driven by a 29-year-old man approached the intersection. The car struck the young girl, tossing her "five or six feet" according to a witness. She did not survive the car accident, and the 29-year-old was placed under arrest at the scene.
Police questioned the mental and physical state of the 29-year-old, believing he was intoxicated in some way. With a cooler full of beer in the back seat of the man's vehicle, you can hardly blame the suspicions of police. However, the 29-year-old blew a clean breath test.
He was taken in and given a blood test, the results of which are pending. Police believe they will find some sort of intoxicant in the man's system -- likely oxycodone, according to the source article.
Even if the driver was not intoxicated in this incident (though it seems likely, given the persistence of police), he could still be held liable for this accident. Intoxication would just make him highly negligent; but his irresponsible driving outside of the potential element of intoxication still merits punishment.
The 29-year-old faces misdemeanor manslaughter -- negligent homicide charges. Criminal court may not be the only courtroom he faces though, as the family of the 6-year-old will likely look to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: WYMT, "UPDATE: More charges possible in deadly Wayne County, WV crash," July 16, 2013