37-year-old Consuela Wilson was killed in a multi-vehicle accident, involving a school bus, on Cove Street in Hinesville Wednesday morning, September 10, 2014.
According to WTOC News, a man driving an Oldsmobile along Cove Street fell asleep at the wheel and veered into the center lane where a Liberty County school bus was turning onto Cove Street. The Oldsmobile driver apparently woke after striking the school bus bumper and overcorrected, steering into oncoming traffic and striking Consuela Wilson’s Saturn in a head-on collision around 6:45am Wednesday.
Ms. Wilson, of Jesup, was reportedly airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center, where she later succumbed to injuries. The Oldsmobile driver apparently suffered non-life threatening injuries during the crash.
The accident comes amid FDA and media reports on the prolonged risks of sleep aids, particularly for drivers. The New York Times recently highlighted FDA warnings in their sleep aid report:
“The F.D.A. is looking at the data as it comes out and making sure we understand that many sleeping pills are not as benign as we assume,” said Dr. Daniel J. Carlat, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University. “Lower doses can prevent next-day sleepiness and head off big problems, like car accidents.”
The Oldsmobile driver is allegedly facing multiple charges, including failure to exercise due care, failure to maintain lane and driving on the wrong side of the roadway. Police report additional charges may be pending following their investigation.
Our Legal Take
The Murray Law Firm is following media updates of this accident closely and questions whether medications, such as sleep aids, alcohol or drugs may have been factors in this tragedy.
Were blood tests performed immediately following the accident and, if so, did they indicate whether medications, drugs or alcohol may have contributed to this accident?
Was the Oldsmobile driver using prescription sleep aids in the hours or days leading up to the accident?
As the driver is allegedly facing criminal charges in this accident, the family of Consuela Wilson may elect to hold his insurance civilly liable in her wrongful death. If the driver was under the prolonged influence of a sleep aid at the time of the crash, additional claims may also be filed with the pharmaceutical company, should their negligence have contributed to this accident. Of course, legal proceedings are of little consequence to a grieving family. However, claims of this magnitude will send a clearly-needed message to all Georgia drivers on the need to avoid sleep deprivation and sleep medications while driving. Perhaps, through these claims, many other lives may be spared.
The Wilson family should retain an experienced personal injury firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected.
The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of sleep deprived and impaired drivers and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 912.385.9690. Consultations are free and confidential.