When a 23-year-old man crashed into a carload of teenagers in Saratoga County, New York, it was the fifth car accident he had caused in five years. The results of the crash were tragic – two students at Shenendehowa High School were killed and two others suffered severe injuries. The two surviving teens, a 17-year-old boy and girl, were each the respective boyfriend and girlfriend of the two teens that died.
The man who caused the crash was not only speeding at 81 mph when the accident occurred, but he was also stoned, drunk and texting. Reports were that he was traveling to meet someone to get more drugs. There was evidence of the man’s impairment from alcohol and marijuana. His license was suspended at the time of the crash, and that suspension had been his fifth.
The man faced 58 counts in connection with the accident. In September, he pleaded guilty to all in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of 5 to 15 years in prison. Some of the charges he pleaded guilty to included vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, vehicular assault, assault and DWI.
Had the man been found guilty at trial, he could have faced up to 25 years in prison. More than 3,000 people in the community signed a petition asking for the harshest sentence possible in the case. The sentence that the man received was originally offered to him by the district attorney. The man rejected it and later on; the district attorney wanted a longer sentence after learning more about the accident.
Even though this case is tragic, it should be remembered that this man did have rights that must be protected while his case was moving through the court system. A criminal defense attorney ensures that his or her client’s rights are protected, while preparing the best possible defense to the charges.
Source: timesunion.com, “Anger, tears, sorrow as Drue is sentenced” Robert Gavin, Dec. 06, 2013