In 2010, a 23-year-old woman was driving her 16-year-old friend around his neighborhood. The speed limit posted in the area was 35 miles per hour, but the woman was going a reckless 75 MPH -- and when the inevitable crash occurred, the young teenager lost his life.
As she was speeding down the road, a car pulled out in front of the 23-year-old's vehicle, forcing the woman to suddenly swerve into oncoming traffic. She collided with a school bus head-on, ultimately coming to a stop after slamming into a pole.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, receiving a minimum of one year in jail (possibly up to two years) for her crime. But the most important aspect of this story is the family that has been torn apart by this unfortunate event. "I don't believe she intended to kill my son," the father of the 16-year-old said during the 23-year-old's court hearing. "Whatever happens today, it doesn't bring [him] back."
That's the worst reality of reckless car accidents that turn fatal. Even if the offending party is guilty in criminal court; even if the victim's loved ones prevail in their civil lawsuit -- may it be personal injury or wrongful death litigation -- and earn compensation for their pain and suffering; it still does not fill the void left by the deceased family member. No jail sentence or amount of money ever could. Hopefully someday soon we can implement measures that seriously limits the amount (and effect of) reckless driving, saving lives and protecting families from gross negligence.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Woman sentenced in car crash death," Paula Ward Green, Oct. 23, 2012
- Fatal car accidents affect more than just the people in the crash. Families of the victims can pursue wrongful death litigation to earn a small sense of justice for their lost loved one.