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Drunk Teen, Dangerous Intersection Combine to Take Life of 10-Year-Old Girl

The effects of drinking and driving are staggering. Poor coordination, disorientation, blurred or double vision, and slowed reflexes are just a few effects. We hear about the tragedies of drunk driving every day. I recently read about little Nicole Lynn Woodbury, who at the age of ten, died at the hands of a drunk driver.

On the evening of September 2, 2008, little Nicole was a back seat passenger in her dad’s Jaguar when motorcyclist, Allen (A.J.) Cockrum ran a red stoplight and crashed into the back door of the Jaguar. Nicole and Mr. Cockrum, (age 19) died; Nicole’s father, Jeff Woodbury, was hospitalized with extensive injuries, including a puncture lung. Mr. Cockrum did not have a motorcycle endorsement, was driving under the legal drinking age, and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit for an adult.

Although Mr. Cockrum was drunk, authorities stated that the accident may have been avoided had the two drivers been able to see each other as they approached the intersection.

“This is at an intersection where the county has known for many years that the mound of dirt or earth blocks the view of northbound traffic” on Taylor Flats, Rettig told the Herald. “… The county has completely neglected … to eliminate that traffic hazard.”

The lawsuit filed by Nicole’s parents blames Mr. Cockrum and Franklin County for the death of their daughter. The lawsuit states that Mr. Cockrum was negligent and the county failed to make improvements to the dangerous intersection where several serious accidents have occurred. It is believed that the county road crews missed several opportunities to install safety devices, such as flashing lights, alerting them of the upcoming intersection or to re-slope the area around the intersection. Nicole’s parents, Sharon and Jeff Woodbury, seat damages for the lost of their parent / child relationship, economic loss to Nicole’s estate, her funeral and burial expenses, Jeff’s medical expenses, and his pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, permanent loss and impairment of his hand, arm, and shoulder, and for the suffering and loss of their daughter. The suit also seeks damages for Mr. Woodbury’s loss of earnings and damages to his car.

Many roads are in need of repair, many intersections are dangerous, and many lives are lost in auto accidents. Although the city is responsible for making the roads safer, it can not control negligent driving. Our hearts go out to both families. They must be devastated by their losses. Financial compensation cannot return their children. That kind of pain will never go away.

Many of the comments to this article are heartless. Pursuing wrongful death litigation does not make the pursuer ‘money hungry’. One cannot put a price tag on a child. This couple would prefer to have little Nicole back – to hug her, tuck her in at night, watch her get on the school bus, play in the snow. They will never again hold her in their arms; they have forever been deprived of the simple opportunity most of us have to watch their child grow to adulthood.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an auto accident due to the negligence of someone else, it is important that you seek legal advice from an auto accident attorney. The Woodbury’s may also need to seek lawsuit funding to help with their medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of income, and everyday bills. It is sometimes difficult to make ends meet when situations like this occur. All too often, plaintiffs will look to settle their case too soon and for too little because they are financially strapped. Lawsuit Financial can give plaintiffs the money they need immediately; this immediate funding source allows them to take care of their financial obligations while giving their attorney the time needed to seek appropriate justice. The call to 1-877-377-SUIT (7848) is free; the advice is priceless.

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