There are any number of issues that can cause a driver to become momentarily distracted from the road. A driver in upstate New York recently pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in causing the deaths of three women who were waiting in a parking lot. The pedestrian accident happened last summer and the driver told police at the time that after she dropped off a foster child at a nearby facility her flip flop became stuck or somehow interfered with the accelerator of her SUV, distracting her.
The SUV she was driving was going 38 miles per hour on the quiet street before it accelerated to 46 miles per hour, ran through a section of a parking lot where she struck the three women waiting outside the church for a friend. After striking the three women, the SUV continued on for another 70 or 80 feet, dragging two of the victims as it sped under the church’s entryway. The vehicle plowed through metal railings before it crashed into the brick wall of the church’s bell tower. The three women killed were 66-years-old, 79-years-old and 81-years-old.
Blood tests conducted in the investigation later showed the driver of the SUV was heavily medicated at the time of the accident. The 56-year-old woman admitted in court that she was taking six medications at the time and became distracted in early August of last year when her vehicle ran off the road. The woman was originally charged with driving under the influence of drugs and vehicular manslaughter. Her plea deal requires she spend a maximum of six months in jail and she will permanently lose her New York drivers’ license.
When an individual is killed through the negligent driving of another, surviving family members may be entitled to damages for their loss. A wrongful death suit in this case could be filed by the three families affected by this driver’s actions. Choosing to get behind the wheel while impaired is a serious offense, in both a criminal as well as civil court of law. The driver could have faced 25 years in prison had she been convicted of the most serious charge of vehicular manslaughter rather than plead guilty. Her sentencing is scheduled for early next year.
Our law firm helps people who have been injured in a car accident by distracted drivers recover damages for their injuries. Please visit our NYC Motor Vehicle Accidents page to learn more about our services.