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Drunken driver imprisoned for causing fatal crash

A 28-year-old man from Pedro, Ohio, has been sent to prison for eight years after being convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide. As in so many Ohio car accidents, he was intoxicated at the time of the crash, with his blood alcohol level registering at 0.146, over 150% of the legal limit for intoxication. The man who died in the accident was a friend of the driver, and the two men had been drinking together the afternoon before the accident.

The driver was badly injured in the accident, suffering severe brain injuries requiring mental health treatment before he was even able to stand trial. The brother of the decedent spoke passionately to the sentencing court, describing how devastating the loss of his brother had been on the entire family, including the man's wife and five children, as well as his two sisters, two brothers and mother. The prosecutor told the court that the drunken driving accident could have resulted in the loss of even more lives under other circumstances.

Harsh punishments are needed for those who drink and drive to help deter others from doing so. In this case, the accident occurred on State Route 93, close to the 11-mile marker. The intoxicated driver lost control of his 1995 Ford Mustang convertible, which had the top lowered at the time of the accident. The car veered off of the road towards the right and flew into the air after hitting an exposed pipe. It then hit a tree. Both men were thrown clear of the vehicle, and the decedent, who was in a passenger seat, died from blunt force injuries to his neck and head.

Criminal punishment does nothing to provide any form of compensation to accident victims and their families. For that, you need wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits in which medical and funeral expenses can be recovered along with damages for pain and suffering, lost services and income. Nothing, of course, can ever really compensate a family for the loss of a loved one, but compensation can help ensure this time is not as financially damaging.

Source: Ironton Tribune, "Man gets 8 years in fatal crash case" Michelle Goodman, Dec. 19, 2013

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