Father Who Killed Son in DUI Crash in Chowan County is Jailed

We are all aware of the perils of drunk driving. It’s bad enough when intoxicated drivers end up injuring or killing themselves. It’s even worse when innocent people are victims, particularly if children pay the price.

Tragically, the actions of a drunk father led to the death of his nine-year-old son in rural North Carolina.

This week, Robert Altman, 47, was sentenced to more than seven years in jail after he was found guilty of causing the death of his son.

drunk driving kills son in Chowan

The boy was thrown from his pickup truck on Aug. 30, 2014. Altman was sentenced to seven years behind bars for felony death by motor vehicle. He was sentenced to two years for drunk driving.

A WAVY.com report cited court reports that stated he crashed as he reached speeds of 75 mph on a narrow, rural road in Chowan County. He had a blood/alcohol content of .21 percent. The legal limit in North Carolina is .08 percent.

Altman's truck ran off the right side of the road. The vehicle then swerved back to the opposite lane and skidded sideways. Evidence showed it slipped at least twice into a bean field. Altman and two of his sons were thrown out of the truck. The nine-year-old ended up beneath the cab of the upside-down pickup. None of them were wearing seat belts.

The court heard Altman had previous convictions for drunken driving as well as other vehicle crimes including reckless driving and driving without a license, Greensboro.com reported.

Every year drunken driving claims hundreds of lives in North Carolina and Virginia. Alcohol is a factor in about a third of all fatal vehicle wrecks in these states.

I help clients in North Carolina who have suffered terrible injuries because of the actions of an intoxicated driver. Tragically, some of those accident victims do not survive the wreck and I represent the families of the deceased.

Many of the people who cause serious wrecks that claim lives or main have had previous DUI convictions. Often drivers think they can get away with driving drunk. Eventually, their behavior usually catches up with them.

If you have been hurt or lost a family member in a DUI crash, please call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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