Inattentive drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers; that’s a fact. And while the law has punishments in place for those whose drinking and driving results in the severe injury or death of another individual, distracted or careless motorists must also be held accountable if their negligence causes harm. As a Baltimore automobile accident lawyer, my aim is to help victims and their families to recover medical costs and other damages caused by another person.
Recently, a resident of Linthicum Heights pled guilty to a single count of vehicular manslaughter resulting from the August 22 pedestrian accident that left 59-year-old Glen Burnie woman dead. On that day, Mary Bernice Collins was on her way to Holy Trinity Catholic Church for evening mass when she was hit. She was reportedly standing on a sidewalk when hit by a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Matthew Evan Norwood.
Following the collision, Norwood reportedly left the scene. Based on circuit court reports in Annapolis, Norwood accepted a plea agreement in exchange for the prosecutor’s office to drop seven other related charges, not the least of which was for hit-and-run.
According to news reports, the man was apparently extremely sleepy due to the effects of two prescription drugs, Xanax and a narcotic analgesic, methadone. Prosecutors argued that the man knew the effects of the drugs, yet still decided to take the wheel of his vehicle just before 7pm that evening.
Police stated that the man was driving north on Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard when the vehicle jumped a curb near the intersection of Oak Lane and struck the victim. Eye witness testimony confirmed that the minivan Norwood was driving hit the victim while she was standing on the sidewalk. He reportedly drove off without stopping.
Collins was thrown nearly 100 feet from the point of impact and into the front yard of a nearby home. She was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, where she was pronounced dead.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 20. News reports indicate that prosecutors will argue at that Norwood should serve more than 18 months in a state prison for the crime.
Man guilty in fatal hit-and-run, HometownAnnapolis.com, March 5, 2010