A Mobile, Alabama, man was recently charged with murder following a fatal pickup truck crash in Grand Bay, AL, that killed two passengers, as well as seriously injuring the driver and a third passenger. The wreck occurred in the early evening of May 29 when a truck driven by 29-year-old Carl Miller left Ramsey Road and hit a tree at a high rate of speed, killing his two cousins, Billy J. Miller, 17, and Joseph Miller, 20.
According to reports, the Mobile County District Attorney's office alleges that Miller was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the accident. The police investigation revealed that the truck was traveling between 90-100 mph prior to going off the road and hitting the tree. Authorities also said that none of the truck's occupants was wearing a seatbelt.
This is a tragedy of the first order. Three of the people, the two victims and the driver, were relatives, and that family has suffered a terrible loss. Obviously, the driver exhibited poor judgment, but to charge him with two counts of murder is an added blow to the families and relatives of these men. In addition, Miller was charged with leaving the scene of an automobile injury accident.
As a Birmingham criminal and DUI defense lawyer, I have represented clients in this type of situation before. There is no doubt that the allegations pose a huge challenge to this man's defense, but that is why criminal attorneys like myself have devoted entire careers to helping those individuals accused of a crime, even when the odds appear stacked against them.
For Mr. Miller, police say he was drunk and maybe under the influence of marijuana. Add to that the allegation that he left the scene of the accident and it would seem that he is guilty. But there could be plausible reasons for his leaving. Of course, guilt is one possibility, but maybe he left because he wanted to get help for himself and the other men — he and the other survivor of the crash both had serious injuries. Frankly, we won't know the details until his trial.
Mobile Man Charged With Murder In Deadly Wreck, WKRG.com, June 1, 2009
Murder charges filed against driver in double fatality, AL.com, May 31, 2009