A DUI crash involving a former Oklahoma police officer is leaving the victim’s family with questions. Former officer Adam Vanlandingham struck a vehicle driven by Jerome Carter. Vanlandingham attempted to make an improper left turn when he collided with Carter. Carter suffered serious injuries in the crash, including brain trauma, broken bones and bruised lungs. Carter spent an extensive amount of time in the hospital recovering from the injuries he sustained in the collision.
For his part, Vanlandingham admitted drinking six or seven beers that day. A police report notes that Vanlandingham did not appear heavily intoxicated. However, a police report notes that Vanlandingham received no charges at the scene. Carter’s family and friends are in disbelief. Larzara Gonzalez, a friend of Carter’s, asks why police chose not to arrest Vanlandingham.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol captain Ronnie Hampton explains that OHP chose not to arrest Vanlandingham on scene due to a unique aspect of the law. Hampton says that Vanlandingham could face more serious charges in the wreck. He states that, if Vanlandingham were charged immediately, he could have plead guilty to a simple DUI. Upon entering his plea, officers could not have legally charged Vanlandingham with any other, more serious charges. Therefore, officers chose to wait before arresting and charging Vanlandingham for the crash.
The criminal law in this case led police to make a unique decision. However, it appears as though Vanlandingham’s decision to drink and drive will still have consequences. In an Oklahoma DUI, the accused driver faces harsh criminal penalties. Additionally, the driver is civilly liable to all who are injured as a result of the crash. Jerome Carter suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of Adam Vanlandingham and should be able to recover for his medical bills and pain and suffering caused by the accident.
If you or your loved one is suffering because of an Oklahoma DUI accident, please contact us today at 888-352-0624. Experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney Kent McGuire will help you get the compensation you deserve.