Kill someone on the road these days and you may not be facing hard time, or so it would seem following the sentencing of a Burtonsville, MD, man who was charged with the death of one person in connection with a 2011 car accident. The charge in question was involuntary manslaughter, according to reports, which happened when the driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle before it struck a guard rail, left the roadway and smashed into a stand of trees back in June 2011.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my staff of experienced automobile and trucking-accident legal professionals are all too aware of the potential injuries, pain and suffering that victims and their families experience following a severe car, truck or motorcycle wreck. These can range from the mildest of injuries, such as bruises, cuts and abrasions, to neck and head injuries, as well as wrongful death at the hands of a negligent driver. It goes without saying, as usual, that medical costs these days can be quite high, especially for serious injuries that require extensive or costly medical procedures.
And one needn’t be hurt or killed by someone they do not know. Many victims have been riding in the vehicle driven by a negligent driver; someone they know or trusted with their life. Hurting, injuring or killing a stranger is tragic enough, but to cause harm to a relative or close friend is, frankly, unforgivable in many people’s eyes. We bring this up because of the case that was recently closed on a man who reportedly was instrumental in the death of one individuals and the injuring of two others traveling in his vehicle.
According to court records, 26-year-old Jade Jackson agreed to a plea deal in the involuntary manslaughter case against him earlier this month. Based on reports, the prosecution alleged that Jackson was doped up on PCP at the time of the fatal single-car collision that killed two of the three passengers riding in his car on June 7, 2011. As part of the plea arrangement with prosecutors, Jackson was sentenced to 57 months in prison, plus 36 months of supervised release.
Police reports from that day indicated that the accident was likely precipitated by the defendant’s use of phencyclidine, a powerful drug that likely caused the man to crash his car on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Witnesses to the crash reported seeing the defendant’s vehicle swerve and “drive out of control” before going off the highway and into some trees. Several 911 calls alerted police to the accident, which killed one person in the left-rear seat.
Jackson reportedly pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter several months ago, and had been looking at an eight-year maximum prison sentence for the manslaughter charge, with up to six months in prison as well as a $5,000 monetary penalty for operating a motor vehicle on a revoked driver’s license. It’s important to note that this was a criminal trial, not a civil case in which the man could have been sued for wrongful death of his passenger in the back seat. As well, those who were injured as a result of that individual’s apparent negligence might have also strong reasons to sue based on their injuries, at the very least to recoup any medical costs or reparations for loss-of-work.
U.S. Attorney: Burtonsville Man on PCP Drug During Auto Accident, Patch.com, April 27, 2012