A 55-year-old South Carolina man was killed in an automobile accident in the early morning hours of Jan. 20 in Greenville County. The man was a passenger in a 1994 Ford pickup truck driven by a 29-year old man. Both men were from Travelers Rest.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the car crash occurred at about 1 a.m. The pickup truck was traveling eastbound near Warehouse Drive on Bates Bridge Road when the truck left the road on the right side, hitting an embankment and utility pole, and then overturned. According to the coroner, the older passenger died from his injuries at the scene of the accident at about 1:30 a.m. Although neither man was wearing seat belts, the driver of the truck was not injured.

Both the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team of the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Greenville County Coroner’s Office are continuing to investigate the accident. The driver of the pickup truck has been charged with drug possession and felony DUI in connection with the passenger’s death.

In addition to felony criminal charges, the driver of the pickup truck may face liability for wrongful death in a civil action by the passenger’s estate on behalf of certain surviving family members. Spouses and children are among the individuals who may seek compensation in a wrongful death action for pain and suffering, medical costs, funeral costs and a variety of other expenses. The fact that the driver may have been under the influence of drugs may make it easier for an experienced personal injury attorney to prove that he was negligent in causing the crash.