On Sunday, February 5, 2012, Robert Kempf was driving on I-71 near the Watterson Expressway in Louisville, Kentucky when a fatal accident occurred. Based on a preliminary investigation, this tragic car accident could have been avoided.
Robert Kempf and his friend had been watching the Super Bowl that Sunday, visiting with friends, drinking some alcohol. Later that night, Mr. Kempf got in his 1995 white Corvette with his friend. Once on I-71, he started speeding and lost control of the vehicle. Investigators are unsure if he ran off the road and rolled the car or if the car rolled over until it left the road. Either way, his 49-year-old passenger was killed when the car rolled onto its roof. How Mr. Kempf was able to walk away with minor injuries is a mystery.
What is not a mystery are the factors involved in this crash. First, Mr. Kempf was driving over the posted speed limit, which makes it more difficult to control a vehicle. Second, Mr. Kempf had been drinking prior to driving the vehicle. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol seriously hinders a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle. Mr. Kempf certainly should have been aware of this, especially since he has been arrested for DUI three other times in Louisville. He has been charged again with DUI in this case too. However, this time is a little different because he has also been charged with murder.
A similar case is unfolding now, also in Louisville. John Koerner of Clarksville, Indiana was driving on Grinstead Drive with two passengers in his car on February 10th when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. One of his passengers was ejected from the vehicle during the accident. According to witnesses, Mr. Koerner and Kristy Harper, the other passenger, fled the scene. They were both found shortly after they ran. The injured passenger was taken to the hospital and the driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence, assault and wanton endangerment. Ms. Harper was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and public intoxication.
Unfortunately, the injured passenger succumbed to a brain injury on February 15th, raising the possibility that Mr. Koerner could now be charged with murder.
Family members of the victims in both of these accidents should contact a Kentucky personal injury attorney to discuss the facts in these cases and determine whether or not wrongful death lawsuits should be filed on behalf of the victims. Based on the charges already in place and pending, they may very well be entitled to various types of damages to compensate them for their losses. Money does not bring a loved one back, but it may bring some closure and provide future financial stability. The attorneys at Miller & Falkner have helped numerous accident victims make sense of the chaos involved in dealing with insurance companies and legal claims during and emotional time. If you have been in this situation or require assistance with any other personal injury incident, please contact them.
Driver facing murder, DUI charges after I-71 crash; WHAS; Gene Kang; February 6, 2012
Passenger in alleged DUI crash dies; driver, other passenger charged; WHAS; February 15, 2012