A driver believed responsible for the deaths of three trick-or-treaters in 2015 has been charged with negligent homicide and manslaughter. New York authorities allege the man was off his epilepsy medication at the time of the car accident. His trial is set to begin shortly.
According to the accident report from October 2015, the man experienced a seizure while driving, causing him to accelerate rapidly onto a sidewalk full of pedestrians in Morris Park. The vehicle was moving at approximately 60 mph when it struck a bus, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic and then onto the sidewalk. Three people were killed, including a 10-year-old girl, a 65-year-old army veteran and a 24-year-old man.
The authorities have alleged the man was not on his proper medication for his epilepsy when the crash occurred. The man also reportedly lied on his driver’s license application to cover the fact that he suffers from epilepsy. This, combined with his refusal to take his medication as prescribed, may place the blame for this accident on him. He is currently awaiting trial on $75,000 bond.
While medical conditions sometimes excuse individuals from responsibility in a car accident situation, when the individual is consciously avoiding treatment for an existing condition that makes the driver a danger on the road, responsibility for a resulting accident appears clear. In this case, New York authorities have already criminally charged the man with a litany of crimes. Separately, the families of the deceased victims are in a good position to file wrongful death lawsuits against him in civil court. Even if he is not convicted in criminal court, the civil suits likely stand a good chance of success.
Source: New York Daily News, “Driver in deadly trick-or-treater crash to face manslaughter rap“, Ben Kochman, Oct. 19, 2016