1 defendant settles in fatal drag racing car accident lawsuit

Drag racing on public highways remains a big danger in South Carolina. A race where responsible drivers are trying to get to their destination safely is highly reckless, irresponsible and negligent. It is putting the lives of innocent people at risk for a few moments of excitement.

More than three years after a college student was killed in a car accident caused by drag racing teens, one of the defendants in her parents' wrongful death lawsuit has settled. The defendant that settled was not directly involved in the terrible crash. It is the company that constructed the median barrier on the section of Interstate 26 where the accident took place.

The victim was a 20-year-old student at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She was killed while driving on I-26 one evening in March 2011. According to the wrongful death suit, two teenagers were racing on the interstate when one of them lost control and crashed into the victim's vehicle. The vehicles crashed through the cable barrier erected by Elderlee Inc.

The teen drivers are both defendants to the lawsuit, as are one of their parents, the S.C. Department of Transportation, and Bagwell Fence Co. The victim's parents accused Elderlee of contributing to their daughter's death by negligently failing to build or maintain a fence that would have kept her car on the eastbound side of the highway.

The company recently agreed to settle the claim in exchange for $20,000, according to court documents. How this settlement affects the claims against the other defendants remains to be seen.

A person or business does not have to be present at the scene of an accident to be responsible for the victims' personal injuries, at least in part. Allowing a hazardous condition to exist, as Elderlee apparently did, makes the world a more dangerous place, and parties that do so should be held liable.

Source: Spartanburg Herald Journal, "One of seven co-defendants settles in wrongful death suit," Kim Kimzey, April 8, 2014