On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
A Romanian law school graduate, days away from returning home to start his career, was killed by a drunk and drugged driver west of Denver. A 20-year-old Colorado man recently pleaded guilty to causing the fatal pedestrian accident at a controversial Keystone crosswalk last St. Patrick’s Day.
The Breckenridge judge’s sentence for the vehicular homicide guilty plea was a six-year term of community corrections. The court dismissed recommendations by investigators and a prosecutor to imprison the guilty driver for eight years. The judge claimed a compassionate mixture of punishment and restoration was a satisfactory solution.
Community corrections, sometimes known as community supervision, gives a defendant freedom with limits. No prison term is imposed. Counselors and family members work together using an incentive and acclimatization program to help the guilty party become a productive member of the community.
The Colorado driver’s statement was part of four hours of pre-sentencing testimony that included the 33-year-old victim’s mother. The mother spoke via an online connection from Romania.
The four-lane highway where the March accident occurred was criticized by defense and prosecuting attorneys. Residents near the poorly marked road complained repeatedly over several years about the Keystone crossing. State transportation officials upgraded the crosswalk after the fatal accident.
The law student’s death was the second family tragedy due to a traffic accident.
A criminal court provided a way for the defendant to earn his way back into the community’s good graces. A wrongful death suit might help the mother reclaim compensation for the loss of her son.
The primary defendant in a civil action for wrongful death would be the driver, who admitted he was driving while under the influence at the time of the accident. Local or state officials could also be held liable for negligence for ignoring the dangerous conditions at the intersection.
Source: summitdaily.com, “Driver in Keystone crash gets 6 years community corrections,” Caddie Nath, Sept. 15, 2012