The driver involved in a single car accident that killed two passengers and left two others injured will face criminal charges. The driver will also likely be sued civilly for his alleged negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. The passengers in the car, as well as the pedestrians, may have claims against the driver and his insurance company for his negligent operation of the vehicle that resulted in their respective injuries.
Authorities have charged the twenty year old driver with two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, and one count each of felony assault and driving while ability impaired.
The story, as reported by NY1, does not give the Blood Alcohol Content of the driver. It is difficult to determine from the article as well because in different parts it is reported that the driver was charged with drunk driving and driving while ability impaired. At any rate, the driver’s ability to operate his vehicle was compromised due to his intoxication. Because of the charges of criminally negligent homicide, the police felt that his conduct rose to the level of criminal negligence. Vehicular manslaughter would require causing the death of another individual while also in violation of New York DWI statutes.
If the driver is found guilty, accompanying these charges are potential lengthy prison terms. Criminally negligent homicide is a Class E felony, while the more serious vehicular manslaughter is a Class D felony. For these charges alone, if convicted on all four counts, the driver faces a maximum of twenty-two years in prison. If we assume from the context of the article that the assault charge is Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, then the driver faces an additional possible four years for this Class E felony as well.
As always, this fatal accident will have lasting consequences, for the families of the deceased, the injured, and the driver. The legal system will run its course as they begin to move past this tragedy. The story can be found here at NY1.