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According to state troopers,an SUV went off the shoulder of the roadway in a curve.  The driver pulled the SUV back onto the roadway, but it overturned and rolled several times before landing on its side.

The driver dies. The Four other teen passengers, were taken to the hospital.

Troopers suspect alcohol was involved, but they’re waiting for test results to determine if in fact it was.

Speed is also being considered a contributing factor.  Troopers said the SUV was traveling about 70 mph going into the curve.

The crash is still under investigation by the N.C. Highway Patrol.

LEGAL QUESTION: Who would have a potential claim for personal injuries due to this car wreck?

ANSWER: Based on the above possible facts. The passengers have a potential claim for negligence against the driver/driver’s estate. The claim would be made against the driver’s insurance company first.

BASIS: The driver had a duty to drive properly. If she was underage drinking and/or speeding, then she breached her duty. That breach proximately caused the injuries to the passengers.

OTHER ISSUES: Contributory negligence? Did the passengers knowingly ride in the vehicle with someone who was drinking. If contributorily negligent, then their claims could be barred under present NC law. That would go to the jury for deliberation.