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Woman gets minimum sentence after fatal pedestrian accident

Some of the most intimate moments a parent can share with a child happen during the most simple activities. One woman, who was accustomed to traveling around her Massachusetts town on foot, would often walk with her pre-teen son. Unfortunately, this young man's memories of walking with his mother will now be forever scarred by the tragic pedestrian accident that took her life.

The pair were ambling down a sidewalk late one evening in July when the tragedy unfolded. The mother, who always placed her son to her inside while walking, had enough time to yell for her son to take cover before the car struck her and then a tree. The 47-year-old woman who was driving claimed she was distressed and trying to locate her own daughter at the time of the accident.

She was charged and convicted for manslaughter by motor vehicle as well as reckless endangerment and homicide by vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances. The sentence she received was the minimum, as she could have faced a maximum of 20 years. She will then serve eight years on probation, and she is prevented from driving for 13 years.

The Massachusetts judge referred to her actions as "horrifically reckless" but cited her lack of prior convictions as the reason for the minimum sentence. While the convicted driver will be released in a mere five years, the victim's son and parents are sentenced to a lifetime of pain and sorrow for the loss of their beloved mother and daughter. However, with the knowledge that the driver was found criminally responsible for the pedestrian accident, this fact may add to the weight of a wrongful death suit if they choose to file one. No financial award can ever mend their broken hearts, but monetary recompense may indeed relieve the burden of the end-of-life expenses and allow the grandparents to provide for their grandchild.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Woman sentenced in fatal Stoughton crash apologizes", Laura Crimaldi, Nov. 21, 2014

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