In a tragic series of events, two women and a six-year-old girl lost their lives after their vehicle was struck head-on by an underage drunk driver on July 18, 2015. You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that drunk driving is always the wrong decision. Chandler Kania, 20, had spent his evening using the fake ID of an older friend to buy drinks at two bars in his North Carolina town. His friends made efforts to stop him from getting behind the wheel, but he knocked one of them to the ground and proceeded to drive off. Mr. Kania then drove north on the southbound side of Interstate 85, crashing directly into the vehicle of Felicia Harris, 49, Darlene McGee, 46, Janiece Smith, 6, and Jahnia King, 9. Jahnia thankfully was not seriously injured, but lost her beloved relatives in the crash.
On May 30, 2015, Boston attorney Benjamin P. Urbelis, was arrested for causing serious bodily injury while operating a boat under the influence of alcohol after a 19-year old woman got her arm cut off by his boat’s propeller. Mr. Urbelis’ has since been indicted on charges of negligent operation of a boat, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, and providing alcohol to minors. The cruel irony of this tragedy is that Mr. Urbelis is an attorney that specializes in OUI and DUI cases and his boat was named “Naut Guilty.” Mr. Urbelis also runs Top Shelf Entertainment, a nightlife promotion business and has an ownership interest in Julep Bar in Downtown Boston.
We have represented many families where there were injuries to kids. Having children around is a blessing but not necessarily around construction with kids in the home. Home renovation accidents involving children do happen but there are ways to prevent it by following these suggestions:
This past winter in Pepperell, Massachusetts, a 9-year old boy accidentally ran over his 12-year old brother while clearing snow on a Bobcat. The boy suffered multiple fractures to his legs but his injuries were not life threatening. Though you need a license to operate a Bobcat, which obviously a 9-year old would not possess, no charges were filed against the parents for allowing the fourth grader to drive the vehicle. In rural communities like Pepperell, it is not unusual for some youngsters to get their initial driving experience on a tractor or a Bobsled and accidents do happen because of their inexperience and youth.
Few accidents in life are as tragic as that of young child killed by an event or conduct that was entirely preventable. Recently, the life of an 11-year old North Carolina boy ended when carbon monoxide from a defective pool heater leaked into the motel room where the boy and his mother were staying. Two other guests had been killed just a few months earlier while staying in the same motel room as a result of the leak. The motel owner has been charged with criminal negligence. Such negligence, unfortunately, may be just as likely in a Boston motel where old heaters are in use or in any residence or motor vehicle where fuels such as kerosene, gasoline or wood are burned.\
It is not difficult to understand why during holidays, and especially the 4th of July, car accidents and fatal injuries are at their highest peak. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has commented a number of times over the years when the 4th of July weekend is approaching that motorists need to take special precautions when most people take 3 to 4 days off. It is a time of parties and celebrations but also one where excessive drinking and late night revelry can lead to 4th of July injuries and tragic consequences.