Authorities announced late last month, that a Canadian man was charged with first degree vehicular homicide and felony hit and run in connection with a fatal accident on Interstate 75 in Cobb County that he was believed to have caused.
The man was also charged with improper lane change while driving the RV, which was believed to be responsible for triggering the multiple-vehicle chain reaction. Marietta Police said the current warrant has a no-bond and a nationwide extradition clause added. Police stated that they had encouraged the driver to turn himself in within 24-48 hours when they spoke with him, but that they did not know his exact location.
According to prior reports, the accident was caused when the RV, which was traveling southbound on I-75 near Delk Road, reportedly slammed into a Toyota Camry, which then collided with a Toyota Prius. The Prius then hit a median wall and flipped, partially ejecting its passenger, a 40 year old man who was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
What stands out regarding the criminal charges in this case is that the charges against the driver would have been less stringent had he not fled the scene. As previously discussed, the accidental killing of another person in a car accident is typically construed as second degree vehicular homicide, and is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. Therefore, the driver’s act of leaving the scene bumped up his criminal charges from misdemeanor to felony, and could potentially have tripled the jail time he may be sentenced with, as this charge carries a potential prison sentence of 3-15 years.
The reason behind the heightened charges is indicative of the public policy concerns with having to track down the responsible person, and potential added difficulty of discerning the circumstances surrounding the accident, etc.
However, the potential legal fallout of this case, and other accidents ending in fatalities, is not necessarily limited to the criminal charges. The goal of criminal cases is to punish an individual for their wrongdoing. Our justice system supplies the option of pursing civil lawsuits in order to give some sort of compensation to the victim or their family for the harm caused, in an attempt to compensate them for the injury or loss.
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in a car accident due to another individual’s negligent driving, you should consult with an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as possible. Stephen M. Ozcomert is a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience. Attorney Ozcomert understands the evidentiary intricacies involved in complex accidents which are caused as a result of the negligent or reckless driving of others in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Contact us today in order to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us by calling (404)-370-1000 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Fatal Tractor Trailer Collision on I-85 over the Weekend, Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 31, 2013
Sleepy Driver Causes Multi Vehicle Collision, Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 21, 2013