You won’t find any argument from us; when it come to aggressive driving — whether its road rage, joy riding or illegal midnight drag races on public roads — fatal accidents resulting from unlawful driving behavior can only be viewed is negligence of the worst kind. Willful disregard for the safety of ones passengers, other motorists and innocent bystanders cannot be tolerated in a civil society.
Traffic laws are put in place primarily for the safety and well-being of all those who share the road. Whether one drives a passenger car, motorcycle, delivery truck or 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig, it’s all to easy under normal circumstances to become involved in a highway collision or rural traffic wreck. Injecting high-speed, sometimes alcohol-related street racing or other illegal vehicle operation only invites disaster.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues know that tragedy is just one mistake away when motor vehicles are involved. Even under “normal” driving conditions a typical crash can lead to serious injuries for the driver and passenger. Add to that highway speeds and heavier vehicles, like a commercial truck, and you’re looking at the potential for traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and possibly death.
A recent news article showed that there is justice, even though nothing can ever bring back a loved one killed in a senseless auto wreck. Such was the situation when a court pronounced a verdict of guilty in the case of the fatal drag-racing deaths of two spectators back in 2009.
According to court records, 27-year-old Donneil Raeburn was found guilty of two counts of vehicular homicide, as well as reckless driving, failure to control his vehicle’s speed and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Raeburn was also injured when he lost control of his Chevy and struck two pedestrians and during an illegal early-morning drag race along a stretch of I-70.
Police reports had indicated that the defendant’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was over two times the legal limit in Maryland; the measurement was made several hours after the incident. The man could get up to 20 years in prison for his part in the fatal crash.
The victims, 20-year-old Jonathan Henderson, and 21-year-old Mary-Kathryn Abernathy were reportedly struck from behind by Raeburn’s Impala. The force of the crash caused terrible bodily injuries to both pedestrians, inflicting a range of wounds including massive head injuries and internal bleeding from torn aortas. No date for final sentencing was given at the time of the news article.
Guilty verdict in drag-racing deaths of two people, BaltimoreSun.com, April 1, 2011