A grisly car accident left four people dead outside Cincinnati, caused by a driver under the influence of heroin. Kenneth Hartsock, 48, was allegedly driving on the eastbound lane of Highland Pike with a mix of heroin and fentanyl in his system, when he drifted into the emergency lane and then redirected the car into oncoming traffic. The vehicle collided head on with a car containing three people, killing everyone involved in the accident. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident, contact a Cincinnati car accident attorney today.
Driving While Under the Influence of Heroin
While it is difficult to determine how many accidents each year are associated with heroin, about 28 percent of fatal accidents in Ohio are caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A police press conference stated that witnesses saw Hartsock driving erratically prior to the crash, which led them to posit that Hartsock overdosed just before the fatal accident. This crash accompanies a slew of heroin related vehicle arrests and crashes in the Greater Cincinnati area. Anyone driving under the influence of heroin can face felony charges even if heroin is not found in the vehicle.
Heroin in Cincinnati
According to Cincinnati.com, Cincinnati is a key distribution hub for heroin, making the drug cheap, potent, and ubiquitous in the area. The drug gets to Cincinnati through highway drug routes on Interstate 71 and 75. Most of the heroin comes from Mexico and the distribution is managed by powerful cartels. Heroin is a much cheaper drug than most prescription painkillers and has become much more popular and widely available in the area within the last five years.
In 2014 in Hamilton County alone, 84 accidental deaths were attributed directly to heroin while 177 accidental decedents had heroin in their systems.
Legal Recourse of Victims’ Families
The families of the three victims from this tragic accident can file wrongful death suits against Hartsock’s estate, as it appears he was clearly at fault for the accident. Whether or not Hartsock’s estate would be able to pay the extensive damages caused by three wrongful deaths is unclear, yet unlikely.
Some of the damages the families can sue for include:
- Medical and funeral expenses;
- Potential earnings the deceased persons could have made had they lived;
- Loss of the deceased services like house work and childcare;
- Pain and suffering the death caused the family; and
- Loss of possible inheritance the deceased may have received if the victim had lived.
Contact an Experienced Cincinnati Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a car accident caused by the recklessness or negligence of another party, do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers . The days and weeks following a fatal accident can be some of the toughest times in a person’s life, and we are here to help. We will take some of the burden off your shoulders and give you time to recover and rebuild your life. Contact us today for a free consultation.