A little over a year after an 8-year-old boy was killed in a Westminster, California bicycle accident, the motorist, 48-year-old Anita Sue Cherry, has been sentenced to three years of informal probation. Cherry, who pleaded guilty one misdemeanor count of reckless driving, will also have to complete 300 hours of community service.
Cherry struck Andrew Brumback with her Ford SUV on the morning of January 19, 2011 as she drove through an intersection and briefly looked down. "AJ," as he was called, was thrown off his bike. At the hospital, he was pronounced dead from internal injuries.
Cherry initially pleaded not guilty to the criminal charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. She eventually struck a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
"Distracted driving can consist of so many different behaviors," said Howard Law, PC and Westminster, California Personal Injury Attorney Vincent Howard. "Motorists must pay attention to the road and their driving. It takes just a few seconds while one's eyes and/or focus are elsewhere for a deadly crash to happen."
While everyone on the road is vulnerable when someone is distracted driving, pedestrians and bicyclists are especially at risk of catastrophic injuries during an Orange County, California car crash. Both don't have much in the way of protection to cushion the impact of a collision. Even a bicyclist who is wearing a helmet and protective gear is at a huge disadvantage compared to those inside a motor vehicle.
Regardless of the outcome of any criminal case, the civil case you choose to pursue would be separate with an unrelated outcome. This means that just because someone ends up not going to jail for injuring you or hurting your loved one this doesn't mean they won't be ordered to pay you compensation. "Pursuing Orange County, California personal injury damages can provide you with some sense of restitution while holding the negligent party accountable," said Anaheim Car Accident Lawyer Vincent Howard.
Last month, a Newport Coast woman who is being sued by the family of a bicyclist who was killed in a Orange County, California motor vehicle crash was sentenced to four years in state prison. Danae Marie Miller, 23, was text messaging and drunk when she collided with bicyclist Amine Britel, 44. Miller had pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter.
The deadly Newport Beach bicycle accident happened as Miller veered her Volkswagen Jetta into the bike lane last year. She rear-ended Britel's bicycle. Even two hours after the deadly crash, Miller's BAC was .10%, which is above the state's .08% legal limit.
Distracted driver gets probation in boy's death, The OC Register, March 13, 2012
Newport Coast Woman Heads to Prison in Crash That Killed Cyclist, Newport Beach Patch, February 28, 2012
NHTSA Distracted Driving Study, Distraction.gov
More Blog Posts:
Number of California Drugged Driver Deaths is Rising, California Injury Lawyers, February 26, 2012
Irvine Woman Sentenced in Deadly Orange County, California Car Accident, California Injury Lawyers, January 7, 2012
CHP Employs "Zero Tolerance" Policy with Distracted Driving Crackdown, California Injury Lawyers, December 29, 2011
Unfortunately, distracted driving continues to be a growing problem--especially with so many people unable to resist the urge to make a phone call, check e-mail, or send a text while on the road. Fortunately, national, state, and local transportation safety officials and enforcement continue to step up their efforts to fight distracted driving by spreading awareness, enacting tougher laws, and cracking down on distracted motorists.
In Orange County, California, contact Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney Vincent Howard so that you can explore your legal options.