On January 17th, 2012 in Fredrick County, Virginia. A 56 year old man from Richmond driving a 13 ton heavy hauler going northbound on Green Valley Road, was going around a sharp corner and while adjusting to the curve his trailer ended up losing traction. The trailer, which had been reported as empty; swung wide into the opposing lane, striking and crushing a southbound traveling 46 year old man from Libertytown in a small passenger truck. This was reported by the Maryland State Police Sergeant who had been on duty at the time of the accident. The man who was crushed was later pronounce dead at the scene of the crash and the driver responsible for the accident was charged with traffic violations that would include criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter.
More than a year later a lengthy 3 day trial resulted in a guilty verdict for the accused man and he will now have to wait to be sentenced at a later time. The family who had their loved one taken from them shared tearful hugs with each other that day outside the courtroom. Through out a difficult year and a half families from both sides of the court room, including many more in the community of Fredrick County; have all learned and been influenced by this trial. It has been the first of it”s kind since the Criminally Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter Statute was enacted in 2011. This statute states that in such cases, the prosecution must show that a defendant should have been aware that their conduct created a “substantial and unjustifiable risk” to human life and that failure to perceive the risk was a “gross deviation.”
Although the verdict had been read out as guilty; the accused man and his criminal defense attorney respected the jurors and the integrity of the process, but left disappointed by the outcome. The criminal defense attorney and the man accused both felt that the jurors had done their part in listening to both what the prosecution and defense had to argue in the case. Judgement had been made for one man and a life taken from another.
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