A Pennsylvania tow truck driver has been found responsible for his role in the death of a woman. He will serve a prison sentence from four to eight years in the incident. The car accident resulted in a criminal conviction for homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence.
The man stated he had been drinking before he came to the aid of a 55-year-old woman during a snowy 2011 night. It is believed the two were acquainted with each other. He apparently got into the woman’s car. When he backed the vehicle up, the woman was struck by the open car door.
The woman was thrown to the ground and passed away. During his trial, he claimed he told the woman to move away from the vehicle. He also testified that he believed the car had faulty brakes, and those two things contributed to the woman’s death. He was convicted by a jury in September, but just recently found out his fate.
Although he will spend time in a Pennsylvania prison, the woman’s family may have additional legal avenues available to them. Someone who causes a deadly car accident like this can be held criminally liable, but families can also seek compensation in the form of a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. Pursuing such a claim could force the driver to pay the family monetary damages. Proof of the criminal conviction may be offered as evidence of liability in the wrongful death claim. If successful, a monetary judgment could provide reimbursement for last medical expenses, funeral costs and other damages permitted under our state laws.
Source: SFGate.com, “Pa. tow truck driver gets prison in fatal accident,” Nov. 2, 2012