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North Carolina driver pleads guilty in fatal accident

A North Carolina woman has recently pleaded guilty for her role in a fatal accident that took the life of a Good Samaritan. The victim had stopped his truck to assist another driver before the fatal accident occurred. The woman crashed into the man, killing him and injuring three others.

Initially, she was found guilty of second-degree murder, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, DWI and several other felony offenses. However, the woman received a retrial approximately two years later after an appeals court ruled the prosecutors presented insufficient evidence concerning an odor analysis of her breath. The woman then pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and will be required to serve 26 to 52 months in prison.

She will receive credit for the time she has already served. After her sentence, she must be on supervised probation for an unspecified period of time. Fortunately, the woman has been held criminally responsible for her apparent negligent actions in this crash. However, that does not absolve her of her civil responsibility to the man's family.

His widow retains the right to file a civil lawsuit against the woman for her role in the fatal accident. If the diver is found to have been negligent, she may be required to make monetary recompense to the man's family. Drivers on North Carolina roads have a duty of reasonable care to others sharing the road, and consuming alcohol breaks the law. As such, it is possible that she could be held both civilly and criminally responsible for the death of the family's loved one.

Source: wbtv.com, "Woman pleads guilty in crash that killed Good Samaritan," Nick Needham, Sept. 27, 2012

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