Members of a Georgia congregation recently had a celebration for their spiritual leader of over 20 years. Sadly, the same evening of their joyous anniversary became a night of mourning after their pastor was killed in an accident apparently caused by a drunk driver. The crash also resulted in injuries to the pastor’s wife that required emergency transportation and medical treatment.
The accident occurred as the church leader and his spouse were traveling east on Highway 140 shortly before 9 p.m. Another vehicle, heading in the opposite direction, veered into his path and crashed directly into his car. The impact killed the 55-year-old husband and grandfather. The occupants of the other vehicle were injured as well.
Georgia officials have charged the driver of the truck that hit the pastor’s car with first-degree murder by vehicle as well as causing injuries to others. In addition, the 47-year-old woman has been charged with driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance and operating a vehicle after dark without using the headlamps while traveling in the wrong lane. It was not reported whether the injured persons remained under a doctor’s care.
The family and church community left behind are now facing the difficult task of learning how to continue on without their beloved husband, father, grandfather and spiritual leader. In addition, the man’s wife may have months of physical recovery ahead of her, not to mention the emotional wounds she has suffered in the aftermath of this horrific crash. Along with the criminal charges that Georgia authorities may file against intoxicated drivers, the surviving family members of accidents caused by a drunk driver may seek their own closure and healing by commencing a wrongful death lawsuit against the party deemed responsible. Similarly, injured victims may file personal injury claims based upon evidence of negligence. Such a decision may allow the survivors to seek relief from the monetary burdens such as medical expenses and lost wages, that frequently follow in the wake of and can serve to compound the suffering of these tragic accidents.
Source: christianpost.com, “Georgia Pastor Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver After Powerful Church Service Celebrating 23rd Anniversary; Wife Hospitalized“, Leonardo Blair, Apr.1, 2014