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Motorist could get 25 years for fatal drunk driving accidnet

A 59-year-old North Carolina man accused of causing a fatal accident near Fort Mill, South Carolina, was arrested nearly three months after that deadly wreck. The man is currently being held without bond in an area detention center. He is accused of causing the fatal drunk driving accident when he smashed into the rear end of the decedent's vehicle.

The defendant in this case was first charged with the lesser offense of driving under the influence. However, once the victim died at the hospital, the charges were increased to include felony DUI in which death results. The defendant could spend 25 years behind bars in connection with the incident.

Authorities say that the collision occurred when the man allegedly plowed into the rear end of the decedent's car, which was stopped behind another vehicle on U.S. 21. The crash caused a chain reaction, which pushed the middle car into the rear end of another that was stopped ahead. All three vehicles had only one occupant each; the alleged drunk driver and one other victim suffered minor injuries. The 74-year-old driver of the middle car was not so lucky, however, and he died three days after the Jan. 31 accident.

The defendant has a prior record of drunk driving, with two previous criminal convictions that occurred in 2001 and 2012. Other convictions include possession of drug paraphernalia. The man was not apprehended until he was recently found in Tega Cay.

The defendant in this case is facing multiple offenses, including driving without a license, drunk driving and operating an unregistered vehicle. Defendants with multiple offenses may have special needs in court, especially if they have been convicted of previous drunk driving charges. This man, for example, is being held in a detention facility without bond because of his prior record. It is important to realize that previous arrests and convictions can play a role in future criminal defense proceedings.

Source: Herald Online, "UPDATE: NC man charged with felony DUI after deadly Fort Mill crash" Jonathan McFadden, Apr. 18, 2014

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