A Hampshire County grand jury indicted a 23-year-old woman yesterday after an April car crash killed a University of Massachusetts senior and injured another man. The woman was charged with several offenses including a second DUI, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, manslaughter, felony motor vehicle homicide, and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
The accused was driving her vehicle around 2:20 a.m. on April 14 when she caused the fatal motorcycle accident by hitting the bike driven by the 24-year-old student. He was thrown from his motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. The report did not indicate if he was wearing a helmet. Her car then collided with another vehicle driven by a 57-year-old man who was transported to Baystate Medical Center where he was treated and released.
The student was returning home to Amherst and was scheduled to graduate tomorrow from UMass with a chemical engineering degree. He had worked throughout his college career at the UMass Fine Arts Center and managed crews of student workers in the audio department.
The woman was found to be intoxicated when she caused the wrongful death of a promising young man. She had a prior record of driving under the influence from 2008. She completed a drug and alcohol education program at that time.
Because bikers are helpless against negligent drivers, motor cycle accidents are among the most devastating. With the extent of charges against the female driver, and given the fact that this is her second offense of driving under the influence, a wrongful death suit would be appropriate in this case. The other driver whose vehicle was also hit should be able to have his insurance, medical and vehicle repair bills covered by pursuing a personal injury legal matter.
Source: gazettenet.com, “Sunderland woman faces charges in crash that killed UMass senior,” Bob Dunn, May 10, 2012