Last July, a young Massachusetts couple was crossing a street in a designated crosswalk. Before they could arrive safely at the opposite sidewalk, they became victims of a fatal car accident. The charged driver initially pleaded not guilty to the double counts of homicide by motor vehicle.
The 30-year-old man recently had another court appearance where he decided to change his original plea, most likely in exchange for a lighter sentence as part of a negotiated plea agreement with the prosecution. The man was subsequently sentenced to serve one and a half years in jail to be followed by an 18-month probation. Additionally, he has lost his driving privileges for an undisclosed length of time. If he violates probation, he will serve the remaining time in jail.
The fatal accident occurred when the charged driver failed to stop at a red light signal. As a result, his vehicle then struck an oncoming car. The force of that collision propelled the at-fault driver’s car to spin across the roadway where it collided with the couple in the crosswalk. Both victims, a 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman, died from their traumatic injuries.
The families of the victims offered impact statements that addressed the tremendous losses that both they and the community at large have had to handle following this fatal car accident. While the driver is being held accountable through the criminal courts, Massachusetts laws will also enable the families to file wrongful death civil suits against the convicted driver. Such lawsuits not only aid in helping the survivors obtain a sense of closure for the loved ones, but, more importantly, they often result in monetary compensation that may ease the burden of end-of-life expenses and other accident-related damages.
Source: boston.com, “Driver in Fatal Back Bay Summer Crash Changes Plea“, Shannon McMahon, Jan. 2, 2015