Our Cape Girardeau car accident lawyers frequently represent the victims
of drunk drivers. While public education and awareness about impaired
driving are at an all-time high, these accidents still result in the deaths
of hundreds of Missourians - and many more injuries - every single year.
Last weekend, a suspected impaired driver in Poplar Bluff caused a 1 vehicle
accident resulting in the deaths of her passengers.
It happened early Saturday morning around 4:00 a.m. Police estimate that
24 year-old Christina Aldridge was going at least 48 miles per hour on
Saxon Drive when she failed to see a stop sign. She hit her brakes too
late, causing her 2001 Jeep Cherokee to skid through the intersection,
cross Ashcroft Road, flip over, and plunge into the Black River.
The Jeep landed on its roof in the water and was completely submerged:
witnesses who live on Saxon Drive reported hearing a loud boom, and then
Aldridge crying out for help. Aldridge was able to escape the vehicle
through the driver's side window, which was open at the time of the
crash, and witnesses helped her reach the riverbank. She was not injured.
Her passengers, however, were trapped. It took a tow truck and several
divers from the Missouri Highway Patrol to retrieve the vehicle later
that morning: when they did, they found 25 year-old Joshua Phelps in the
front passenger seat, and 29 year-old Jason Carrington in the back seat.
Their windows were closed. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt.
According to officers from the Poplar Bluff Police Department, Aldridge
admitted that she had been drinking all evening. She was arrested and
booked for driving while intoxicated and 2 counts of manslaughter: she
remains jailed in Butler County. Yesterday, autopsies were scheduled to
be performed on Phelps and Carrington, although Butler County Coroner
Jim Akers said "evidence at the scene indicates they did not die
as a result of injuries from the accident," reports the
Southeast Missourian. Akers believes the autopsies will show that the 2 men died of drowning.
Drinking and Driving: The Facts
• Approximately 1 in 3 car accident fatalities is caused by an impaired driver.
• Drunk drivers cost each individual American citizen approximately
$500 a year.
• In 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 10,839
people died nationwide in traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers (meaning
32% of car accident fatalities involved alcohol). 181 of these fatalities
were children under the age of 14 - and half of those fatalities represent
children who were riding with an impaired driver.
• An additional 254,000 motorists were injured in 2009 drunk driving
• 1.4 million drunk drivers were arrested in 2009 - and this figure
represents less than 1% of the 147 million episodes that were self-reported
• The average drunk driver will drive while impaired 87 times before
he or she is caught.
• 75% of convicted drunk drivers with suspended licenses continue to drive.
It's our sincere hope that these facts will reach those motorists who
still believe it's safe to drive after drinking. Doing so is never,
ever worth the risk: the potential consequences are far-reaching and life-shattering
for everyone involved. Let a friend drive you, or call a cab, or simply
stay put. It could be the best decision you ever make.
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Information provided courtesy of Aaron Sachs and Associates.