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Driver charged with involuntary manslaughter after collision

A 35-year-old Salem man is being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence after a crash on Interstate 581. The 35-year-old was reportedly driving on the interstate in a Ford Taurus when he collided with a tractor trailer owned by R&L Carrier. The driver of the R&L Carrier tractor trailer maneuvered into another lane in an attempt to avoid the Ford Taurus, but in doing so reportedly hit a Fleet Master Express, Inc. tractor trailer.

The drivers of both trucks died in the wreck. The driver of the Ford Taurus was taken to the hospital for treatment but taken into police custody soon after. According to police, there were two other cars that were also involved in the accident. Another woman that was involved in the wreck had to be taken to the hospital to treat her injuries, and there was an Adams Construction Truck also involved in the fatal car crash.

The crash resulted in a fire, which police stated was fueled by roughly 100 gallons of diesel fuel. The driver of the Ford Taurus was charged with a DUI and involuntary manslaughter. The driver had reportedly undergone charges related to alcohol previously.

It is possible that the families of the two truck drivers that were killed may pursue a wrongful death suit against the driver of the Ford Taurus. A wrongful death suit can be considered whenever another party caused the death of another. In this case, a personal injury attorney could argue that these two truck drivers would not have died if the driver of the Ford Taurus had not driven while drunk. A personal injury case might also be able to be claimed by the other woman who was injured in the crash.

Source: WDBJ7, "Salem man charged with DUI, involuntary manslaughter after major wreck on Intersate 581 in Roanoke", Nadine Maeser, June 13, 2013

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