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Car accidents: Alcohol suspected in single-vehicle crash

Police are still looking into a serious accident that claimed one life and sent another person to a local hospital. Ohio authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, which killed an 18-year-old male driver in the early morning of Jan. 4. As with most car accidents of this type, an in-depth police investigation is still underway as of this report. 

According to police reports, the 18-year-old was driving on SR 220 in Pike County at around 2:39 a.m. when the accident occurred. For reasons that have not been verified, the vehicle left the road after the driver failed to properly negotiate a bend in the roadway. The car smashed into a guard rail, killing the driver on-site. 

The 20-year-old male passenger was seriously injured in the crash, and was rushed to a local hospital in Waverly. His injuries were considered life-threatening. Police believe the driver may have been intoxicated behind the wheel, leading to the crash. However, they have not documented this belief publicly as of this report. Their investigation will continue until a cause for the crash is found. 

If the driver is found to have been drunk when the crash occurred, normally Ohio law would require criminal charges to be filed. Given the driver perished in the wreck, no criminal charges will be filed against him. However, the surviving passenger can still file a personal injury lawsuit against the deceased driver's estate. Civil law grants survivors of car accidents the right to sue for damages sustained due to these types of accidents. 

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