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Suspect in fatal accident denies that he was driving

One woman died and the suspected driver was injured in a single vehicle accident that occurred on June 15 near Woodruff, approximately 60 miles east of Clemson, South Carolina. According to troopers with the Highway Patrol, the wreck happened at approximately 12:50 a.m. when a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria driving east on I-26 hit a roadside guardrail. The 23-year-old man facing drunk driving charges in connection with the incident denies that he was driving.

Troopers said the driver of the car lost control, drove off the left side of the highway and traveled back across I-26 before striking the rail on the right side of the roadway. The suspect and a 16-year-old female passenger were ejected from the vehicle by the impact. Both were hospitalized, but the teen girl later died around 3 a.m. according to the Spartanburg County Coroner's Office. One other passenger in the car was uninjured.

The alleged driver in this case has been charged with felony DUI with great bodily injury or death, according to SCHP. Footage shot by the news source during his court appearance shows the mother of the decedent questioning him about the accident. In response, the man says that he was not driving the vehicle. He goes on to say the victim offered to drive him and the uninjured passenger home from a nightclub and that he does not remember what happened after that. The crash is still under investigation by both the coroner and troopers.

In this case, authorities ordered toxicology exams, as well as an autopsy on the crash victim. A DUI defense attorney could review their results, as well as the police report and any witness statements, and assess the man's chances of beating the charge against him. If the investigation clearly points toward the man having been the driver, a lawyer representing him could attempt to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution.

Source: WHNS, "Suspect says he wasn't driving in I-26 crash that claimed teen's life", Dal Kalsi , June 15, 2014

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