On March 15 of this year, a Dodge pickup truck careened into the back of a horse trailer being hauled by another pickup truck. After that impact, the Dodge pickup still had enough momentum to fly into oncoming traffic where it collided with yet another vehicle head-on. That second impact was hard enough to kill the 70-year-old driver of the car involved in the second car accident.
The driver of the Dodge pickup has a past filled with driving infractions, including two within the past year for excessive speed. Recently, a grand jury reviewed the case to determine what charges the Dodge pickup driver should face for taking the life of the Georgia man. The grand jury could have chosen to charge the man with felony vehicular homicide that carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
However, the grand jury ended up charging the man with three crimes that are misdemeanors under Georgia law. Those crimes are second-degree vehicular homicide, improper passing and failure to stay in the proper lane. If the man is convicted of all three misdemeanors, he could face up to three years in prison, one year for each offense and fines of up to $1,000 per offense for a maximum of $3,000.
There are many people who don't believe that the charges are severe enough for taking the life of the victim in this car accident. Our state personal injury laws exist to provide a way for families to seek their own justice by filing civil actions against the party or parties deemed responsible for the death of a loved one. In addition, if a family prevails in such a civil lawsuit, they may recover the financial losses incurred as a result of their loss.
Source: times-georgian.com, Man accused in fatal wreck indicted as misdemeanor, Colton Campbell, Aug. 14, 2013