Jury awards crash victim $1M after drunk-driving wreck

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Richland County jury has awarded about $1 million in punitive damages to a woman injured in a car crash involving a repeat drunken driver.

The State newspaper reports that a jury last week also awarded Jami Allison Owens $89,000 in actual damages for unspecified injuries suffered in the Oct. 1, 2011 crash after a University of South Carolina football game.

Attorney David Williams of Orangeburg says he had urged the jury to award $1 million in order to “send a message” about the irresponsibility of drunk driving and save lives. The jury decided to award Owens $1,000,001 in punitive damages.

Bradley Lanford, attorney for defendant James Boulware, declined comment Monday. Court records indicate that the crash resulted in Boulware’s second conviction for driving under the influence.