A suspected drunk driver is in custody in Long Island following a serious accident that nearly claimed the life of a 6-year-old girl. The driver involved in the single-car accident is the girl’s aunt, a 25-year-old woman who is now facing drunk driving charges in connection with the crash. The accident is still under investigation by New York authorities.
According to the report, the woman was driving her niece along with her 8-year-old daughter around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 when the accident happened. Apparently the woman lost control of the vehicle and struck a utility pole as well as two parked cars. The 6-year-old was ejected from the vehicle when it flipped.
The woman and her daughter did not suffer major injury in the crash, but the 6-year-old girl suffered major internal injuries. Thankfully medical personnel believe she will survive, but she is still in the hospital as of this report. All three individuals were taken to the same local hospital together.
However, the driver was subsequently placed under arrest for endangering a child’s welfare, drunk driving and violation of Leandra’s Law. Leandra’s Law is a subset of drunk driving pertaining to DUI with children under the age of 15 in the vehicle. If she is found guilty, she could face serious jail time as well as the loss of her license.
Regardless of what occurs in New York criminal court, a cause of action for personal injuries on behalf of the girl exists in civil court. The familial relation between the woman and her niece does not preclude her family from suing her for monetary damages incurred as a result of the car accident. This type of claim is often settled through an insurance claim, though the girl’s family is entitled to consult with counsel in order to determine what legal steps may be appropriate to the situation.
Source: New York Daily News, “Boozy Long Island crash leaves 6-year-old girl spending Christmas in hospital“, Thomas Tracy, Dec. 26, 2015