In 2012, a student from Siena College allegedly caused an accident that killed two high school students and injured two others. On Sept. 27, that student pleaded guilty to 52 felonies and 6 misdemeanors and may be sentenced to a prison term of five to 15 years. It has been reported that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the car accident.
A district attorney involved with the case believes that, at the time of the accident, the driver was more concerned with the damage his car than with the passengers in the other vehicle. He has stated that he will press the judge for the strictest possible sentence.
The driver struck the car carrying the four teenagers as they were returning from a University at Albany-Siena men’s basketball game. Through tracing the cell phone towers along the Northway, where the accident occurred, authorities discovered that the driver responsible for the accident had been texting only minutes before the crash while traveling at a speed of 80 mph. The driver had also been drinking alcohol at a Japanese restaurant in Latham before getting into his car, and marijuana was found inside the vehicle.
At the sentencing for the defendant, which is set for Dec. 5, the families of the victims plan to read statements about how the loss has affected their lives. Though the driver may have pleaded guilty to charges a criminal court, the family may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver in civil court. A attorney may be able to use the defendant’s guilty plea as evidence of liability and may pursue monetary compensation for the families affected by the accident.
Source: CN Weekly, “Drue pleads guilty to entire 58-count indictment in fatal Northway crash“, Paul Post, September 27, 2013