Drunk Driving Accidents – Fatalities
In neighboring New York state, after a 10 hour drinking binge, Martin Heidgen got into his pickup, and then proceeded to drive it in the wrong direction on Meadowbrook State Parkway, striking and killing a limousine driver and a 7-year-old child.
In a Staten Island case, Taliyah Taylor, inebriated on ecstasy, removed all of her clothing during an argument with her mother, sped away in her vehicle, achieving speeds upward of 80 miles per hour, and then struck a pedestrian, killing him.
These individuals were convicted of second-degree murder, as prosecutors were successful in convincing juries that both Heidgen and Taylor had displayed “depraved indifference to human life” However, these convictions are now on review before New York’s highest court. The argument that may potentially overturn their convictions centers on the possibility that these drivers were so drunk, that it was impossible for them to be in “the state of mind the law defines as ‘depraved indifference’.” A decision is expected next month by the court.
Sadly, it appears that prosecutors must now prove that defendants were consciously and willingly showing “utter disregard for the value of human life” in order to prove second-degree murder, in particular in regard to drunk driving cases. Can it be possible that heavy drinking will become a defense for drunk drivers who kill people? It seems hard to believe, and not at all according to the spirit of the law.
In 2010, 10,228 people died as a result of alcohol impaired-driver accidents. There is a drunk driver-caused death every 48 minutes in the United States. Losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident is unconscionable. The survivors of loved ones killed by a drunk driver have every right to bring that person to justice, and to hold him or her accountable for the wrongful death. It IS possible to file a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver who committed the tragedy.
New Jersey Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney
The central New Jersey law office of Harold J. Gerr, Attorney at Law represents those who have been injured and families who have lost loved ones in personal injury and wrongful death accidents. We have been fighting for the rights of the injured for three decades.
Our personal injury law firm carefully selects the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to provide a second opinion about the strength and value of your case. Contact us online or call our office at 732-537-8570 (toll-free at 1-877-249-4600).