Hollywood, MD, Man Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in Drunk Driving Traffic Death

Families of victims killed in fatal traffic accidents have a hard enough time without having the death be related to drunk driving. In Baltimore, the District, Annapolis or anywhere else in Maryland, drivers and passengers alike are killed every day in senseless car, truck and SUV crashes. Recently, the person whose actions may have resulted in the death last summer of a Tall Timbers, MD, motorist has been charged with vehicular homicide.

According to news reports, a 31-year-old Hollywood, Maryland, resident was indicted on charges of manslaughter by vehicle, drunk driving and reckless driving by a St. Mary’s grand jury. The incident occurred around midnight on July 25 on Route 249. The head-on collision allegedly caused by George Michael Bowes, Jr. resulted in the death of Russell Edward Wenzel, 58, and the serious injury of his wife.

Bowes was released recently on $100,000 bond after he was served the same day with an arrest warrant and the indictment from the two-vehicle collision last July.

Based on police reports, Wenzel was driving his wife home just after midnight following a hospital visit when their southbound sedan was struck by a northbound pickup truck that crossed highway’s centerline.

After rescue crews arrived, Melissa Wenzel, also 58, was flown by a helicopter to a hospital in Prince George’s County, where she underwent surgery for an elbow injury. Reports indicate that Bowes was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital and subsequently released.

A sample of Bowes’ blood was obtained during the initial investigation, according to the local sheriff office, and the case was then referred to county prosecutors after accident reconstruction apparently showed Bowes was at fault.

According to news reports, Maryland Attorney Richard D. Fritz, whose previous campaign treasurer is Bowes’ mother, requested that the matter be handled by a court-appointed prosecutor, and it was assigned to Calvert County Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Andrew Rappaport.

As a Maryland auto accident lawyer, my office handles numerous cases every year not unlike this one. If someone you know has been killed or injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, I highly recommend that the victim’s family contact a qualified personal injury attorney to find out what their options are.

Driver faces manslaughter, DUI charges, SoMDNews.com, December 23, 2009

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