A 22-year-old man killed his 18-year-old female passenger while driving drunk.
There are some things in life that parents never recover from; losing their child is one of them. In this case, an 18-year-old female student died in a car wreck. A group of eight teens, all jammed into a small vehicle designed to hold five, had been to an off-campus party and were heading home. The young woman was sitting on the front passenger’s lap when the driver, who was drunk and speeding, lost control of the vehicle and crashed. When the police arrived, they discovered the driver had fled the scene. By the time they apprehended him and administered a breathalyzer, he blew an alcohol content reading of two and a half times the legal limit.
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 victim’s family attended the court hearing. Her dad, a state trooper, barely functions from day-to-day but hangs on because he has two other children at home. His major focus in life since his daughter’s death has been ensuring she gets justice.
The wrongful death lawsuit the victim’s family is likely 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 the length of jail time 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 speaks to the matter of consent to knowingly getting into a vehicle with a drunk driver. If the judge thinks a longer sentence is more appropriate, the man will be allowed to withdraw his plea, and the case will start 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 a car accident injury attorney in Austin, TX from Lee, Gober and Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.