Suspected drunk driver faces lawsuit as pedi-cab driver remains on ventilator

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 2:56 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry law firm is filing a lawsuit on behalf of a pedi-cab driver who was seriously hurt in a suspected DUI hit-and-run crash Friday.

The Anastopoulo Law Firm is suing Andrew Demetre, 22, who was arrested for felony DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

The crash happened at 2:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Meeting Street near George Street. Police found the driver of a rickshaw who had been seriously injured in a collision.

An accident reconstructionist determined that Demetre was traveling “grossly in excess of the speed limit at the time of impact,” and the pedi-cab driver, Travis Odell, was thrown 150 feet down Meeting Street, according to the law firm.

Roy T. Willey, IV, partner and trial lawyer at Anastopoulo Law Firm says Demetre was traveling 60 miles per hour over the speed limit and had more than double the legal alcohol limit after being served at several establishments.

Odell is currently on a ventilator at MUSC and has had at least nine surgeries since the incident.

“Travis remains in a medically induced coma at MUSC, with multiple serious health injuries, including two broken legs, two collapsed lungs, comminuted forearm, broken ribs, fractured mandible, fractured pelvis, dislocated hip, and severe lacerations covering his body,” Willey said.

Wiley said Odell’s injuries are life-altering, and that Odell was a marathon runner.

“A dancer is going to have to learn to walk again,” Willey said.

“It’s hard,” Odell’s father Carl, said. “Thank everybody for the prayers. God’s brought him so far...”

The law firm is asking the public to visit a tip website if anyone has information on Demetre’s whereabouts on the evening of Thursday, May 12, or the early morning of Friday, May 13.

Right now, the lawsuit only names the suspect, but the Anastopoulo Law Firm says others are responsible as well.

“We know exactly how this happened,” Willey, IV said. “But what we don’t know is who enabled Mr. Demetre to become so intoxicated and to get behind the wheel. That’s what we’re searching for next.”

A Thursday afternoon news conference announcing the lawsuit can be viewed below.

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