A drunk truck driver headed to the George Washington Bridge slammed his semi into a car, leaving it “in shreds” and causing the death of an innocent twenty-five-year-old driver. His passengers, women ages twenty-eight and thirty-nine, were rushed alongside him to Harlem Hospital and treated for serious injuries. The truck driver fled the scene and was arrested in Ridgefield, New Jersey, at a Vince Lombardi Service Area.
The accident occurred near a bridge approach at 2:20 a.m. near West 180th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The driver will be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney but was charged with DWI by New York Port Authority officers.
Hit-and-Run and Drunk-Driving Penalties Clash
A NY Daily News story about hit-and-run crashes in New York cites that city council member Ydanis Rodriguez said that there are an average of 40,000 of them annually, with about one victim killed per week, and that Albany needs to act with tougher legislation. Many lawmakers are in agreement and fighting hard to protect citizens.
NYC Councilman Carmen De La Rosa is working on stiffening penalties for hit-and-run drivers, whom he says get lesser penalties than drunk drivers. This, he says, is causing drivers who know they have caused severe damage to flee the scene to sober up, since they can turn themselves in later, once the alcohol has worn off.
State Senator Marisol Alcantara and Congressman Adriano Espaillat proposed creating “a reward fund to assist the NYPD” to catch hit-and-run drivers. Legislators in Manhattan and Staten Island have been battling to make the charge of a fatal hit-and-run a class C felony, up from the current class D. They are also working to increase leaving the scene of a serious injury from a class E to a Class D felony. Mayor De Blasio has instituted laws to provide data from hit-and-run accidents and cause civil penalties. Legislators are also working on rewards for tipsters.
Drunk Driving a Problem
A known scourge, drunk driving still plagues our highways thanks to those who think laws don’t apply to them or that they can overcome the impossible task of conquering alcohol impairment. Drinking affects not only motor control and judgment, but also vision, making driving while intoxicated a complete disaster. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) there were 311 deaths last year, representing 28 percent of all traffic deaths. You can use this link to send a message to your state senator, state representative, or governor to toughen drunk driving laws.
Protecting Yourself with Help from an Injury Attorney
As Carmen de la Rosa says, “The cost of losing a human life is irreplaceable,” and drunk driving is all too often lethal behavior. Victims can also face injury, disfigurement, and property damage. If someone causes your accident, they should pay for your damages now and for the foreseeable future. They also need to be held accountable.
Adding a hit-and-run to the mix means additional charges and trouble. If their negligence has affected you or your family, call 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the form below to speak with Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP.