When a loved one’s life is cut short due to the negligence of another, it is only natural to want to see justice done. But even when justice is done, it doesn’t do anything to bring that loved one back. Sometimes lives are completely ruined, both mentally and financially. Restitution or compensation can, however, help with the financial part of a loss, and sometimes that is enough to help a family move on.
A car accident that took the life of a young University of Illinois student in October 2013 finally had its day in court, with the driver of the deadly vehicle sentenced to 42 months in jail. Those 42 months were controversial because the driver, while negligent, caused the accident in a way that seemed to be without intention.
The 59-year-old man knew he was responsible for killing the 20-year-old student. He was driving erratically in his pickup truck on the day he ran her down. Another 20-year-old student was also hit and critically injured. She suffered brain bleeding, a broken ankle that is still problematic and other injuries. The man had been driving recklessly for about 14 blocks before hitting the girls and then crashing into a retainer wall. However, alcohol was not to blame for the man’s reckless driving, but his low blood sugar levels were. The Illinois man was confused and lethargic when the Urbana police appeared on the scene. According to the assistant state’s attorney, the man told police he had not driven in three years.
The sentencing hearing was tense as the prosecuting team argued that the man should have taken his diabetes into consideration and eaten something before getting behind the wheel. The defense team argued that he had a 14-year-old granddaughter he was raising, and this was his first offense. The deceased student’s father gave an emotional speech about the loss of his daughter, while the man apologized and appeared remorseful. The man’s two sons both ranted at the judge and the family, causing the judge to sentence them both for contempt of court.
Source: Source: The News-Gazette, “Updated: Chaos in courtroom after sentencing in fatal crash,” Mary Schenk, July 9, 2014
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Illinois man sentenced to 42 months for fatal accident