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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Teen guilty of pedestrian death, injuries gets 4 year term

The next 10 years of a teenager's life will be spent in prison or under the supervision of Milwaukee County law enforcement officials. The 19-year-old woman was sentenced to a four-year prison term for a motor vehicle accident that killed one pedestrian and injured a second pedestrian.

The fatal car accident occurred last March in the 3300 block of West Lincoln Avenue in Milwaukee. The convicted woman was 18-years-old when she drove around blocked cars into two people aiding an injured pedestrian. A 30-year-old man suffered severe brain injuries in the crash and died. A second pedestrian, a 28-year-old female, testified that her head struck the driver's windshield.

Police believed the driver was drunk. The teenager testified that she drank beer at a bar with friends before the accident, which she blamed on distraction and driving too fast. The young woman told the court she did not realize she struck pedestrians until authorities told her about the crash. The teen's blood alcohol content measured .088 two hours following the accident.

Prosecutors were frustrated by a paperwork error that eroded proof the defendant was informed of the blood test. The credentials for the person who performed the alcohol test also were questioned.

The test-processing mistakes forced prosecutors to reduce the original charges of homicide and great bodily injury by drunk driving. The defendant received a plea deal for single counts of negligent homicide and reckless driving leading to bodily injury.

A conviction on the reduced charges might have placed the teenager behind bars for more than six years. The Milwaukee County judge, who ordered the shorter four-year prison term, took into consideration that the defendant had no criminal history and was an excellent student and churchgoer.

Source: jsonline.com, "Woman who killed pedestrian sentenced to four years in prison," Gitte Laasby, Feb. 6, 2012

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