Driver Allegedly on Drugs Faces Charges After Crash Injures 13

Driver Allegedly on Drugs Faces Charges After Crash Injures 13Addis Gabriel Woldeguiorguis, 51, is facing a charge of driving under the influence of drugs after crashing the van he was driving into a stopped garbage truck in Newton, Massachusetts and injuring 13, the Boston Globe reports. The van was transportation for people with special needs.

Three passengers were seriously injured in the crash, including a special needs passenger who was riding in the front seat who had to be cut from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life. Woldeguiorguis and nine others were less seriously injured but taken to a local hospital. The employees on the garbage truck were not injured.

The van company that hired Woldeguiorguis, AART Transportation, refused to comment to the Globe or the Boston Herald about the incident.

A woman in Chicago recently filed a lawsuit against the city and a truck driver who caused her catastrophic injuries when he hit her on a sidewalk, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The driver, Dwight Washington, was a laborer for the city and driving a Chicago Streets and Sanitation truck on May 21 when he ran into Jennifer Anton. He was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.183, more than twice the legal limit, and was charged with felony drunken driving causing bodily harm. After the crash, Anton was praised as a hero for pushing the child out of the way of the truck barrelling at them. The toddler, in a stroller, only suffered a few minor bruises.

Anton’s pelvis and legs were shattered in the accident and, after 11 surgeries, she still has braces on both legs. She is not expected to walk again until next year, and Anton’s mother has had to take a leave of absence from her job to help care for her.

In a recent report to Congress, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) explained that drug-impaired driving, while a major threat to the safety of our roads, is a difficult problem to control. Illegal drugs are known to have many side effects that can impair driving, but many prescription and over-the-counter medications can also impede an individual’s ability to drive safely.

With alcohol, it is much easier to calculate a blood-alcohol level of an impaired driver, says the NHTSA. But accurate enforcement of drug-impaired driving is more difficult due to the large number of different drugs that would need to be tested, the sensitivity and tolerance of individuals, the absorption, distribution and action of different drugs and acute versus chronic administration.