The husband of a woman killed in a drunk driving incident is now filing a civil case against the defendant following the closing of the criminal case.
Rachel Townsend was driving in Coventry Township, Ohio, when Brandon Pheneger went around a curve at full speed. Pheneger hit the median, causing his truck to become airborne and fly into oncoming traffic, hitting Townsend’s vehicle. The 39-year-old mother died in the incident. Pheneger’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at the time of the incident.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the impact of the crash cut the top of Townsend’s vehicle from the doors up. A video of the crash showed that Pheneger did not brake during the incident.
Pheneger had a history of driving violations and had had his license suspended seven times. He also had ten driving violation convictions, including driving without a license and driving without insurance.
At the criminal trial in April of 2017, Pheneger pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and his driver’s license was suspended for life. Now, Rachel Townsend’s husband of 11 years, Kevin, is filing a civil lawsuit against Pheneger.
Kevin Townsend filed a civil lawsuit against Brandon Pheneger in Summit County, Ohio. He is seeking $25,000 or more in compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 10,000 Americans were killed in 2014 as a result of an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash. This comprises nearly a third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
In Oregon, victims of drunk driving incidents and their families have a right to seek compensation for an incident. If a driver is convicted of driving under the influence, the state of Oregon will likely press criminal charges. The victim or their family may also file a civil lawsuit against the defendant.
The perpetrator’s insurance may cover medical expenses from the incident, the cost of damage to the vehicle, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering.
Drunk driving incidents can be intricate. If you think you may have a case, call a law firm to discuss the matter as soon as possible. D’Amore Law Group offers free consultations to help you determine if you have a potential case and if it’s worth pursuing legal action.