A man accused of killing a woman in a New Year’s Day crash has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, according to local news sources. The man was involved in a car accident that killed the passenger in a taxi cab in downtown New York. He will likely not be going to trial for a year or more. In the meantime, his bail has been set at $40,000.
Prosecutors says the accident was caused by the driver’s intoxication. The man reportedly had a blood alcohol level of roughly .14, well beyond the legal limit in New York. Investigators apparently also found traces of marijuana and ketamine in his system. He was also speeding at the time of the crash, clocking speeds of roughly 107 mph.
The crash decimated both cars, but miraculously, both the cab driver and the accused man walked away with only minor injuries. The 27-year-old female passenger in the cab was not so lucky, as she was killed on impact. The driver now faces two charges of second-degree manslaughter as well as DUI and criminal negligence charges.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial, New York law will allow the family of the deceased victim to file a wrongful death suit against this driver and the taxi cab company. Given he has been charged in connection with the car accident, the evidence prosecutors use to prove the charge may also be available to use in any related civil suit. A guilty verdict is not required for the civil charge to succeed in court, though a conviction would go a long ways toward establishing financial liability in a wrongful death claim.
Source: New York Daily News, “Driver in deadly high-speed New Year’s Day crash in the Bronx was drunk, high: prosecutor“, Ben Kochman, Feb. 23, 2015