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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Driver's mental health impacts outcome of sentencing after crash

A Wisconsin family is not happy with recent turns in a criminal case involving the man who caused a fatal accident that took the life of their loved one. The sister of the victim even hinted that the family may consider taking further legal action against the driver based on the outcome of sentencing.

The incident in question is a car accident that occurred on Aug. 8, 2012. According to reports, a now 28-year-old man was driving on Highway 23. He allegedly was swerving all over the road before he entered a ditch in an attempt to pass a semi. At some point during the maneuver, the man crashed into the 22-year-old victim's car, killing her.

Police reports indicate that the man told police he was trying to escape demons. He also tested positive for marijuana, say police. They charged him with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. A conviction could result in 10 years in jail.

According to reports, the man first entered a not guilty plea, but he recently changed that to a no contest plea. However, he maintained a plea of not guilty due to mental disease. The judge ruled that he was guilty of causing the accident, but accepted the mental health plea as well, which means the man will avoid lengthy jail time in favor of hospitalization.

The family of the 22-year-old girl voiced their displeasure with the outcome. Her sister said that the family may not be done with the issue, depending on how long the man is hospitalized for.

Losing a loved one in an accident is heartbreaking, and many families seek answers and accountability in the wake of such tragedy. One way to do so is through a personal injury case, which families often pursue despite the outcome of a criminal matter.

Source: Baraboo News Republic, "Drivers enters plea in fatal crash" Tim Damos, May. 16, 2014

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