If random fatal traffic accidents caused by a moment’s inattention or a simple distraction inside a vehicle can be termed senseless, not to mention tragic, then drunken driving that leads to the death of an innocent person is surely one of the most unforgiveable acts that can possibly happen on our roadways in this modern age.
Of course, as Maryland personal injury attorneys, we can imagine that nearly every generation, since the advent of the horseless carriage, has lamented the senseless, useless and nonsensical deaths that have been occurring on our highways and city streets since early in the last century.
We’d like to think that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will soon be a thing of the past, if not for ourselves, for our children and their children. But is this a reasonable expectation? If human nature is any indicator, sadly we would have to say no; at least not in the foreseeable future.
Avoiding being injured on Maryland roads is hard enough these days, especially when one counts up all of the automobile, commercial truck and motorcycle crashes that happen annually across our state and in the District of Columbia. Being hurt or injured in a car accident may not be in the cards for everyone, but for those who are unlucky enough to be involved in a traffic wreck, we understand the physical, financial and emotional effects of such events on the average person.
Especially for families who lose a loved one because of a drunk driver, the anger and emotional scars following a fatal DUI crash run deep and may never completely disappear. Take for instance a drunken driving-related car accident that happened last fall in Kingsville. According to news reports, a Bel Air, Maryland, driver was charged with drunken driving following a fatal early morning car accident on Philadelphia Rd. in Baltimore County last fall.
Based on the news articles at the time, 24-year-old Brandon Gentry was allegedly operating his ’99 Chevy pickup truck while intoxicated on the morning of November 16, 2012, when the crash took place. Police reports indicated that the collision occurred a few minutes past 6am as the accused drunken driver was headed west along a stretch of Philadelphia and approaching the Pfeffers Rd. intersection in Kingsville.
Just prior to the wreck, the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as it crossed over the centerline and hit a Mazda Protege driven by 44-year-old Patrick McKinney of Rosedale, MD. Also riding in the Mazda was a 26-year-old front-seat passenger who was reportedly not wearing his safety belt. The force of the impact caused that man to be ejected from the vehicle, according to police.
Both drivers were reportedly incapacitated by the crash and were taken by medevac chopper to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of their serious injuries — they were each listed in stable condition later that afternoon. The third victim, also from Baltimore County, was taken to Franklin Square Medical Center, but doctor and nurses at the hospital could not save his life and he was pronounced dead not long after being admitted to the emergency room. In the aftermath of the crash, police officially charged Gentry with two counts of driving under the influence; however, according to police, the charges were not related to either alcohol or illegal drugs.