Losing a beloved family member is a terrible experience. If the loved one is a child, the grief may only be compounded. The Georgia parents of the 11-year-old boy who was a victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver may spend years trying to put the pieces of their life back together.
The parents may be able to derive a small bit of comfort from the knowledge that the man responsible for this tragedy was recently sentenced to prison for the horrific collision. The driver, who is 44, has been sentenced to serve 15 years for DUI, homicide by vehicle and careless driving. At the time of the collision, the driver was already on probation for an earlier DUI conviction arising out of a Cobb County accident.
The accident that killed the boy occurred in April 2013. The middle school student was attempting to cross a road in Atlanta when the drunk driver struck him so hard with his car that the child was flung more than 50 feet before he fell onto the front window of another vehicle. The driver allegedly briefly slowed before he sped from the scene. A person who witnessed the accident is reported to have pursued the driver in order to record his license plate number and call the police.
While this man has acknowledged his criminal responsibility and will spend time in prison, the parents may still seek a civil judgment for monetary damages regarding the loss of their son. Georgia laws provide for the right of the family of a victim killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver to file a wrongful death suit against the driver believed to be responsible. In this case, such a claim would be supported by the man’s criminal conviction. Other families in similar circumstances have been awarded monetary relief for funeral and burial expenses, along with other damages recognized under our laws.
Source: accessnorthga.com, “Ga. man sentenced to 15 years in fatal DUI crash“, , May 12, 2014