There are certain values associated soldiers: bravery, selflessness, protectiveness, and honor. The vast majority of soldiers uphold these values. However, today these values are being questioned in one soldier after an accident in North Carolina that could possibly lead to a wrongful death case. While his alleged actions after the accident could be an aberration of character brought on by panic-induced stress, the results remain the same.
In the early morning hours in early April, a 54-year-old man was traveling on his motorcycle. As he passed through an intersection, he was struck by a soldier who was stationed nearby, according to police reports. The motorcyclist was transported to an area hospital, but he passed away from his injuries soon afterwards.
Unfortunately, the driver who struck the motorcyclists fled the scene, leaving a mystery for area police to solve. The police turned to social media for help in identifying a suspect by posting a description of the vehicle they believed was involved in the accident. Someone with ties to a local repair shop recognized the vehicle as one that had been brought in recently to be repaired. This identification led to the arrest of the soldier.
A North Carolina criminal court will determine whether this solider is criminally responsible for the motorcyclist’s death. If found guilty, an appropriate punishment will likely be applied. Unfortunately, the family of the deceased man may face a great deal of hardship as a result of his death-both emotionally and financially. To help offset the financial burden of the loss of a family member, they retain the right to file a wrongful death case in a civil court. Apart from any consequences from the criminal court, the civil court could determine that the soldier’s negligent actions led to the motorcyclist’s death and order an appropriate monetary award.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, “Fort Bragg soldier charged in hit-and-run death of Fayetteville man,” Nancy McCleary, April 9, 2013