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Drunk driving accident claims life of bicyclist in Virginia

Tragedy struck Roanoke, Virginia recently when an apparent drunk driver struck a bicyclist during the nighttime hours. On March 31, a woman behind the wheel of a van was heading north on Franklin Road when her vehicle struck the 59-year-old bicyclist, who died as a result of the drunk driving accident.

Police arrested the 33-year-old driver shortly after the accident in a nearby parking lot. Police charged the woman with driving drunk and for DUI manslaughter, both serious crimes in Virginia. The accident investigation included blood samples taken at a local jail; authorities revealed that the woman's blood alcohol content level was three times the legal limit after the crash. The day after the incident, police spoke with witnesses and secured search warrants not only for the woman's vehicle, but also for her medical records and cell phone records.

Following an accident caused by a drunk driver, these types of records can prove critical in both criminal and civil cases that arise. Medical records can show if a driver was supposed to be on certain medications or was restricted from driving in the first place. Cell phone records, of course, can show if a driver was exhibiting negligence by texting while driving or using a cell phone in the moments leading up to a crash. Finally, witness accounts can be critical in finding out what each party was doing right before the collision, which in turn can help demonstrate fault if need be.

In the Roanoke incident, the accident victim was a well-remembered community member who used his bicycle to go just about everywhere, including work. According to a co-worker, the man wouldn't even let adverse weather stop him from using his bike to get around, and was recalled as a dedicated employee who will be missed.

Source: The Roanoke Times, "Salem woman charged with DUI after crash kills Roanoke bicyclist," Michael Sluss, April 1, 2014

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