Over the weekend, a suspected drunk driver fatally struck a pedestrian in Asheville. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on Saturday morning at about 6:00 a.m., on I-240 near Chunns Cove Road. Initial reports indicate that 26-year-old Aaron Lee Thurman was driving eastbound on I-240 when his truck veered onto the shoulder of the roadway. His 1990 Chevrolet GMT 400 struck 23-year-old Christian Blade Johnson, who was walking alongside of the highway at the time of the crash. Johnson did not survive his injuries, and Thurman was charged with driving while impaired.
NHTSA's Drunk Driving Prevention
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready to publicize their annual holiday-themed anti-drunk driving campaign. Unfortunately, the holiday season is particularly deadly on U.S. roadways. With holiday parties and an increase in celebrations involving alcohol, the NHTSA is urging partygoers to designate a driver if they plan on drinking. This year, they want motorists to know that buzzed driving is drunk driving too. If you plan on drinking at all, make sure you have a safe ride home. Even one drink can be one drink too many, and it's not worth risking your life or the lives of others.
Nationwide Drunk Driving Crash Statistics
- In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities in crashes involving impaired drivers across the U.S.
- On average, one alcohol-impaired-driving death happened every 53 minutes in 2014.
- The estimated economic cost of drunk driving crashes in the U.S. in 2010 was $44 billion.
Pedestrian Safety in Asheville
At this time, the investigation of the fatal pedestrian crash in Asheville is likely ongoing. Law enforcement officials did report that additional charges are pending. Pedestrians continue to be one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups in the country. Even crashes at relatively slow speeds can be devastating without the added protection of air bags and seat belts. If a drunk driver has injured you or a loved one, it's important to speak with a personal injury attorney about your options as soon as possible.
The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to Johnson's family members, friends and loved ones.