Riding In the Back of a Pickup? You May Pay a High Price

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A North Carolina teen was killed when the pickup he was in crashed. "Everything he was doing was legal—but that doesn’t make it safe?" says Herb Auger, of Auger & Auger.

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Just because something is legal doesn't mean it’s safe, a lesson shown all too clearly in the recent death of a teen riding in the back of a pickup truck. The teen died in what could have been a minor accident, if everyone was in the vehicle and wearing a seat belt.

“It’s a tragedy and it’s more common than people think,” said Herb Auger, a car accident lawyer with Auger & Auger law firm. “Even at low speeds, riding in the back of the truck is a lot more dangerous in an accident.”

Tyrus Johnston was only 17, a student at West Brunswick High according to TWC News (published 09/15/2014). He and seven friends were riding in the back of the truck on Hidden Beach Road when the vehicle struck an embankment. The other teens survived with injuries, but Johnston was not so lucky.

“You have no kind of safety restraint back there,” said Auger. “When you hit something you’re thrown forward. You can hit your head on the cab, shatter through the rear window or even be thrown over the front. It’s the worst place to be in an accident.”

Auger pointed out that no alcohol or drug use is suspected in the accident and that all laws were being followed.

“In North Carolina it’s legal to ride in the back if you’re over 16 and all these kids were,” he said. “This is a situation where something extremely unsafe is allowed by law.”

There has been discussion of changing the law to forebid passengers in a pickup bed, but Auger says that wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem.

“It’s a part of the culture around here and it would be difficult to enforce. I think it’s more important to educate people so they can make the right choice to protect themselves.”

About Herb Auger:

Herbert W. Auger, Esquire is a Charlotte car accident lawyer with over 20 years of experience helping victims of auto accidents receive fair compensation. A founder of Auger & Auger law firm, Herb Auger believes in an aggressive results-oriented approach that maximizes the awards his clients receive. He can be contacted at:

Auger & Auger
717 S. Torrence Street
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28204

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Herb Auger
Auger & Auger
+1 (770) 481-1769
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