A driver pleaded no contest recently to a reduced charge in connection with the death of a woman in Nov. 2012. He was originally charged with reckless homicide in the second degree and could have spent 25 years in a Wisconsin prison. However, by pleading to the lesser charge, his prison sentence was set at nine years. The plea was not only for this fatal accident -- other charges were included as well. He will also spend nine years on probation after completion of his prison term.
A Wisconsin State Patrol accident reconstruction determined that the driver traveled at speeds in the neighborhood of 90 mph before running a stop sign on the day of the crash. The driver was disoriented but survived the crash. His passenger was conscious when emergency personnel arrived. She died later that day at an area hospital from internal injuries.
The man showed remorse in the courtroom and cried over the death of the passenger. Her family and the judge, however, were not swayed persuasively. A comment was made regarding the fact that his concern was simply too little too late. Her family lives each day with her loss and the children she left behind. The last words the victim spoke to her father were that she "just wanted to die."
No amount of prison time or money could erase those words from the mind of the victim's father. Further, her children have to grow up without their mother because of this fatal accident. Filing a wrongful death claim will not ease their grief, but a successful result could help the family receive a monetary award to provide for those children.
Source: host.madison.com, Felon negligent in fatal crash gets 9 years, Peter Rebhahn, Dec. 14, 2013