North Carolina State Troopers have charged a Brevard man for driving the wrong way on Interstate 26 between Asheville and Hendersonville. The wrong way driver, James Mint Barton, age 65, apparently travelled at least 15 miles in the wrong lanes before he was apprehended by State Troopers. He told Troopers that he was on his way to the Asheville Airport.
Not surprisingly, Troopers charged Barton with Driving While Impaired. Trooper RE Baker stated that Barton was also charged with reckless driving and driving the wrong way on a dual lane highway. Barton ran several cars off the Interstate during his extreme drunk driving, but fortunately no accidents occurred and no one was injured.
Each year, over 300 innocent people are seriously injured or killed by drivers going the wrong way on the highway. In many instances, the wrong way driver is either drunk or high on drugs. In North Carolina, drunk drivers who cause serious injury or death can be sued for compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. As I have mentioned in prior entries, punitive damages are intended to punish and deter the wrongdoer and others who might commit a similar wrongful act. While the North Carolina Legislature placed a