Almost anyone can be hurt or killed in a traffic accident. That’s a sad fact of life in a densely populated state such as Maryland. Throw in the usual, and mostly preventable causes — such as drinking and driving, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication, driving while distracted, and even drowsy driving — and you will find that more and more people are hurt or fatally injured in traffic accidents every day.
It’s unfortunate that most of the injuries caused by drunken drivers are usually sustained by the other victims, not the suspect. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues have seen the more tragic results of DWI and DUI accident cases, inlcuding serious traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and internal organ damage have been known to occur. The recovery time for individuals who receive serious or critical injuries in car, truck and motorcycle crashes can range from weeks to months, with full recovery not always achieved until years later for an unlucky few.
Just last month, a Harford County sheriff’s deputy was seriously injured in the line of duty along a stretch of Rte 40 out in Joppa, MD. The accident, according to police reports, happened in the early morning hours on a Wednesday when an allegedly drunk driver went out of control and hit the Deputy Brad Sives who was stopped in his patrol car at the intersection of Routes 40 and 152.
Based on reports, the four-year sheriff’s department veteran was waiting for the green signal when the collision occurred. According to news article, the accident happened after 2am when a late model Nissan 350Z driven by 21-year-old Kevin Johnstone of Edgewood, Maryland, was turning right onto westbound Rte 40 at what police described as a high rate of speed.
The driver of the sports car apparently lost control and hit the roadway’s median, which sent the vehicle into the air and impacting the left side of the patrol car. The force of the impact caused severely damaged the deputy’s vehicle which was shoved across the southbound travel lanes and onto the shoulder of Rte 152. The officer was reportedly trapped in his vehicle for nearly 45 minutes.
Emergency responders from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company arrived on the scene and were able to extricate the Sives from the damage patrol car. After likely being treated at the crash site, the patrolman was flown via medevac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore where he was admitted for treatment of apparently minor injuries. News reports indicate that the officer was released from the hospital later that same morning.
According to police reports, Johnstone had one passenger with him at the time of the crash. Police stated that both occupants of the Nissan were wearing safety belts and were apparently uninjured in the accident.
At the time of the news articles, Johnstone was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence per se, reckless and negligent driving, as well as failure to control his vehicle’s speed in order to avoid a collision. The suspect was still being held in Harford County’s Inter Agency Processing Center at the time of the reports.
Accident investigation and cleanup was still underway at the Rte 152/40 intersection several hours following the two-vehicle wreck. The roadway was reportedly reopened to vehicle traffic by 7:45am that same morning.
Suspected drunk driver crashes, injures Harford deputy, BaltimoreSun.com, June 15, 2011
Harford County Deputy Hit by Alleged Drunk Driver, Patch.com, June 15, 2011