Last October, a 22-year-old man killed his 18-year-old female passenger. He was DUI.
There are some things in life that parents never recover from, and losing their child is one of them. In this case, an 18-year-old young student died in a car wreck. The driver was drunk, and fled the scene. The story is one that is likely a common event among young adults. The number of kids packed into one car, one designed to hold five passengers, was eight. Reportedly, most of the passengers and the driver had been drinking.
The group of teens, all jammed into the small vehicle, had been to an off-campus party, and were heading home. The young woman that died in the accident was sitting on the front passenger’s lap, when the drunk driver, who was speeding, lost control of the vehicle and crashed just off the road. When the police got there, they discovered the driver had fled the scene. By the time they apprehended him, and had him tested with the breathalyzer, he blew an alcohol content reading of two and a half times the legal limit.
This case is now in court and the driver pled guilty to a felony charge of drunk driving, resulting in death, and entered no contest to fleeing the scene of the crash. The family of the deceased 18-year-old freshman was in court to hear the proceedings. Her father, a state Trooper, reports that he barely functions from day-to-day, but hangs on, because he had two other children at home. His major focus in life since his daughter’s death, he says, has been ensuring she gets justice.
The wrongful death lawsuit the family is expected to file will not be about revenge, but it will be about being held responsible for one’s actions. As things stand, the man’s guilty plea is intended, as a result of a bargain to plead guilty, to end up with him spending two and a half years in prison. On release, he is to undertake a series of school tours and speak on the dangers of driving while inebriated. From the state Trooper’s point of view, the man should be behind bars for at least four years, based on the nature of the accident.
Interestingly enough, the suggestion of an upped sentence may yet happen, despite a deal, as in the final analysis, the length of time he is to spend in jail is up to the judge. This case is also unusual given the fact that just about all the people in the car were drinking; which goes to the matter of consent to knowingly getting into a vehicle with a drunk driver. Should the judge think a longer sentence is more appropriate, the man will be allowed to withdraw his plea, and the case starts all over – again.
Not every case is like this one, but most car wrecks that involve a drunk driver do involve three things a court needs to consider, the negligence of the driver in drinking, the negligence of the driver in driving and the negligence of the passenger who chooses to ride with a drunk, knowing they are risking their lives.
To find justice in these instances, reach out to an experienced Austin injury lawyer. If you need answers about your case and what to expect, an Austin injury attorney, has those answers and the information you need to make an informed decision about moving forward with your case.
Bobby Lee is an Austin personal injury lawyer for Lee, Gober and Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober and Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.