Wrong Way Crashes In Westchester
New York and in particular Westchester, have seen a series of wrong way crashes this year. A driver heading in the wrong direction on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale, was killed in a head-on crash Sunday over Labor Day weekend. In addition to the driver of the vehicle which went the wrong way, the driver of the vehicle which was crashed into also suffered a wrongful death and a passenger in the vehicle was transported for emergency surgery to Westchester Medical Center. This was one of several wrong way incidents on Westchester’s highways. While several others involving off duty police officers and firefighters, involved heavy intoxication on the part of the driver, the police have not yet released whether alcohol was a factor in this incident. Another recent high speed chase of a drunk driver going the wrong way actually involved a Westchester workers compensation lawyer, who has since been disbarred. One of the most common questions our drunk driving accident lawyers hear is “who can be sued if my family member was killed by a drunk driver”
Our Westchester wrongful death attorneys who handle drunk driving accidents know first hand the impact that a tragedy like a fatal motor vehicle crash can have on the family of the decedent. While drinking and getting behind the wheel is never a good idea, the danger is magnified dramatically when the driver is so intoxicated that they actually get on a highway going the wrong way. The high speed of these highways dramatically increases the risk of a fatality because, as our New York City wrongful death lawyers know, when two vehicles collide in a head on collision, and each are going fifty five miles per hour, the force of the crash is one hundred and ten miles per hour, which dramatically reduces the likelihood that there will be any survivors.
Earlier this summer, in the Westchester County Court in White Plains, a Westchester Woman was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of twelve years in prison, for vehicular manslaughter after she killed two people in a wrong way crash. The accident happened on West Hartsdale Avenue, when the drunk driver slammed her minivan head on into the victims, while driving almost double the 30 mph speed limit and she had a blood alcohol content that was more than three times the legal limit of .08.The woman was so drunk that she never even stepped on the brakes before the impact, and almost hit a teenage driver who swerved out of the way at the last second and narrowly avoided being struck. Our drunk driving accident lawyers know that in cases like these, the bar where the person was drinking bears some responsibility. It is simply unbelievable that a bar tender would not know to stop serving someone who is so drunk that they are three times the legal limit, which is close to dead. Cases like these are the reason why New York enacted its dram shop law, which makes commercial sellers of alcohol legally responsible for the damage caused by those whom they illegal serve alcohol to. Under New York’s dram shop law, serving alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person is an illegal sale of alcohol.