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Georgia truck driver pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

A sentence was given in Irwin County Superior Court to a commercial truck driver on six misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide. The driver had entered guilty pleas to the misdemeanor charges in the Ocilla, Georgia, courtroom following charges that arose from an accident on Georgia Highway 32.

West of Irwinville, Georgia, his commercial vehicle slammed into seven cars that were halted in a construction zone. Three drivers were killed in the fires that erupted in three cars. The truck driver's sentence includes 18 months of jail time followed by 18 months of probation. He is banned from commercial driving and must pay $1,000 fines each for three misdemeanor counts

A daughter of one of the crash victims expressed disappointment with the sentence because she felt it delivered no justice. She said the system had let her down, and she wanted stronger actions taken against unsafe truck drivers.

In some fatal truck accident cases, a surviving family member might have cause to make a wrongful death claim against the driver, trucking company or insurance company. Criminal convictions against a driver might be able to support a wrongful death lawsuit because it could prove negligence or a failure to operate a vehicle safely and therefore endanger others. An attorney might be able to inform a survivor of his or her rights to compensation. A settlement in a wrongful death might pay for funeral expenses and make up for the deceased's lost income. Medical bills from rescue efforts might also be included. Negotiations for a settlement might also be handled by an attorney who could advocate for an adequate payout.

Source: WALB, "Deadly driver gets 18 months behind bars," Dave Miller, March 13, 2015

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