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Fatal motorcycle accident brings manslaughter charges

Choosing between a car and motorcycle is all about preference. In Laurel, Maryland, some residents prefer motorcycles because motorcycling gives a unique sense of freedom. However, riding a motorcycle is more risky than driving other vehicles. The driver's body is exposed while riding a motorcycle, which makes the driver prone to ejection if the vehicle collides with another motor vehicle. A rider can suffer the worst kinds of injuries that can lead to temporary or permanent disability or even death.

Maryland readers may still recall a fiery, fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred last summer in Grasonville resulting in two deaths. Recently, the driver accused of causing the collision, a 24-year-old Westminster woman, was charged with negligent manslaughter by automobile while impaired by alcohol, negligent manslaughter by automobile while under the influence of alcohol and negligent manslaughter by automobile.

According to reports, the accused was driving her car on a state highway when it allegedly crossed the center line, causing a collision with a motorcycle that resulted in both vehicles bursting into flames. The motorcyclist and his passenger both sustained third-degree burns. The passenger died later that night at an area hospital and several months later the motorcycle driver succumbed to his injuries.

Any accident which results in multiple deaths is devastating to family members and friends. The circumstances of this crash are more tragic because driving under the influence is the suspected cause of the accident and it might have been prevented if the driver had been sober.

A civil lawsuit, such as a wrongful death suit, often follows in the wake of a criminal trial. A plaintiff can use evidence presented by the prosecution to prove negligence. Even if the defendant is not convicted of criminal charges, the defendant can still be held liable for compensation for the victim.

Source: The Star Democrat, "Woman involved in fiery crash charged with manslaughter," Angela Price, Feb. 6, 2014

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