Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one who has been killed in a traffic accident. We say that because as Maryland personal injury lawyers, we understand how the death of a family member can leave a gaping hole in the lives of the victim’s parents, siblings, children, and of course a widowed spouse. Whatever the circumstances, car crash, trucking accident, or motorcycle wreck, a fatal traffic collision that could have been prevented is a tragedy for everyone involved.
Sadly, once a person has died in a truck or car wreck, there is nothing that can bring that individual back. However, the family that loses a father or mother, must pick up the pieces and try to continue in the absence of that person, hard as it may be. Depending on the situation, medical expenses, lost wages and other collateral costs can put a family in dire financial straits. If the victim was the sole breadwinner, this can be particularly difficult.
As Baltimore auto accident lawyers, our job is to help victims’ families recover the costs associated with the loss of a family member, which can include money awards for actual expenses and lost wages, as well as for pain and suffering. As hard as it may be for the wife or husband, understanding the last moments of the victim’s life is important to determining the amount of any monetary award to the surviving family members.
Not long ago a motorist from Darlington, MD, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for his role in a fatal Harford County traffic accident that claimed the lives of three people back in 2009. According to news reports, 32-year-old Travis Gray was found guilty of drunken driving
The multi-vehicle collision occurred two years ago on November 14, 2009, when the Ford pickup Gray was driving crossed the double yellow center line on a stretch of Rte 543 in northern Harford. Police reports indicated that Gray was driving northbound just before 5am when the accident happened. As it entered the southbound lane, the F250 struck another truck carrying several occupants just south of Prospect Rd.
Three of the other vehicle’s passengers — 48-year-old James Bielanski, 47-year-old Pamela Bielanski, and 35-year-old Robert Arbogast — died in as a result. Gray survived the accident and reportedly told police that he had consumed three or four beers at an establishment that was later determined to be the Old School Tavern on Rte 1 in Dublin, MD.
Following the crash, Gray’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was measured at 0.27 percent, more than double the legal limit in Maryland. Based on court records, Gray pled guilty to three charges of negligent homicide while intoxicated before any criminal trial was to begin. He was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison sentence with five of those suspended; making in all 10 consecutive years to serve. He also received 5 years of probation following his time in prison.
Other news items showed that the Harford County Liquor Control Board had fined the Old School Tavern $6,000 and issued two seven-day suspensions for three violations that took place during the early morning hours of November 14, 2009 — the same day that Gray killed the victims.
The licensees from the tavern were found to be in violation of allowing an employee or licensee to consume alcohol while on duty; selling, offering or dispensing alcohol after 2am. They were also charged with violations including allowing alcohol to be consumed after 2:15am; as well as allowing alcohol to remain on tables or counters after 2:30am. The licensees appealed the fines and suspensions to the circuit court, however the matter was still pending at the time of the news article.
Drunk driver to serve 10 years in Harford triple-fatal accident, ExploreHarford.com, February 25, 2011