Two people are dead following a serious crash in Horry County.
The wreck took place on Jordanville Road in Galivants Ferry. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a pickup truck ran a stop sign and slammed into another car, which subsequently caught fire. 64-year-old Derrick James Sr. and 20-year-old Patrick Lefebvre were both killed. Mr. James apparently died at the scene; Mr. Lefebvre, who suffered a serious head injury, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Mr. Lefebvre was apparently wearing his seatbelt when he was injured.
Traumatic Brain Injuries in Car Crashes
Doctors are just beginning to understand the relationship between head injuries and vehicle collisions. Nationwide, approximately 1.7 million people a year suffer a TBI, and about 80 percent of them receive treatment at a hospital emergency room.
About one in five of these TBIs come from a motor vehicle collision. One reason for the high proportion is that seatbelts were never designed to prevent head injuries. In a high or moderate-speed impact, the occupants’ heads violently snap forward and then crash against the head restraint. Additionally, they are often hit in the head by loose objects inside the car, like cellphones or briefcases. These incidents are so violent that crashed-caused TBIs are the deadliest form of head injuries.
Other TBI causes include assaults, slip and falls, sudden loud noises, and consensual blows to the head in athletic competitions.
Brain injuries are also difficult to diagnose, because their symptoms mimic other conditions, like shock from the crash. Many times, the victims only seek treatment after symptoms persist for several days or weeks. Some early signs of a TBI include:
- Headaches: Many victims report a persistent stabbing pain on both sides of their heads that is almost like a pair of icepicks.
- Personality Changes: Anger and fear are sometimes associated with shock, but they can also be evidence of a brain injury.
- Behavioral Changes: Loss of appetite and changes in sleep cycles are signs that the brain is not functioning as it should.
After a few months, victims develop later-stage TBIs. Those symptoms include:
- Memory Loss: In most cases, the short-term memory is affected first, followed by long-term memories.
- Paralysis: As brain functions continue to deteriorate, the physical functions those areas of the brain once controlled deteriorate as well.
- Death: About 52,000 people a year die after suffering a brain injury.
These symptoms are permanent, because dead brain cells do not regenerate. But, following intense rehabilitation therapy, nearby cranial areas will eventually learn to mimic the lost functions. Due to the permanent nature of the injuries, the economic and noneconomic damages in these cases are often substantial.
Partner with an Assertive Lawyer
For prompt assistance with a personal injury claim, contact an aggressive Charleston personal injury attorney. David Aylor Law Offices has three area locations.