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Man injured in alleged DUI collision making progress

After being seriously injured in an car accident on Sept. 8, 2012, a former Skydive Carolina skydiving instructor is responding to treatment and is beginning to communicate. The man who injured him is facing felony drunk driving charges after driving the wrong way down Interstate 77 and colliding with the victim head on. The alleged drunk driver is also facing an open container violation.

Law students at USC held a party where more than 150 friends and family members of the victim came together to raise money for their injured loved one. Before the accident, the man had participated in over 1,600 jumps from airplanes. At the time of the accident, he had to be taken by helicopter to Palmetto Health Richland where he remained in a coma for some time.

The alleged drunk driver also had to be transported to the hospital after the head-on collision. Investigators said that the man was traveling south in the northbound lane of I-77 around 6 a.m. when the accident occurred. The accident victim, in addition to temporarily being in a coma, also suffered leg, abdomen and back injuries in relation to the crash.

DUI charges become much more severe when a person is seriously injured in an alcohol related accident. Anyone who faces felony DUI charges, or any DUI charge for that matter, likely has an uphill battle ahead of them. It's important to note, however, that there are defenses for these types of charges. If a victim contributed to their own accident or an alleged drunk driver wasn't properly tested for blood alcohol content (BAC), for instance, a DUI attorney might be able to have charges against them reduced or even outright dropped.

Source: WISTV, "Law students rally for classmate injured by suspected drunk driver," Taylor Kearns, April 4, 2013

Source: WISTV, "Driver charged with DUI after wrong way crash on I-77," Renee Standera, Sept. 9, 2012

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