A sad fact is that traffic accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles hardly ever turn out well for the person on foot. When a man or woman is walking across the street and is struck by the full force of a vehicle traveling 25mph or more, the physical injuries can be quite extensive and also quite fatal. Even if an individual is only knocked over, just hitting one’s head on a hard concrete or asphalt roadway can cause brain trauma and possibly death.
Fractures, broken bones and lacerations are just some of the serious injuries that can happen when a pedestrian is hit by a car, motorcycle or commercial delivery truck. Internal injuries, neck and spinal cord damage, not to mention traumatic head injuries are only a few of the conditions that can result from such a crash.
As Maryland auto accident lawyers and Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys, we understand the extent of bodily harm that can come to a person in such violent traffic accidents. Still, when an individual is injured or killed by a motorist, it isn’t always easy to prove negligence on the part of the driver.
Last month a man was acquitted in the case of a fatal pedestrian accident that happened in the District last November. Following a Sunday fundraising walk, 76-year-old Richard Greenstein and his wife were headed back to their vehicle near Madison and 12th streets NW when they were struck by a motorist attempting to back into a parking space.
According to news reports, 35-year-old Kevin Bucy had left his wife and four kids back at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, traveling on foot about a half hour to retrieve the family’s minivan so he could pick them up and spare them the 30-minute walk.
As Greenstein and his 73-year-old wife were stepping into a crosswalk on Madison Street, Bucy’s minivan hit them. As a result of the impact, Greenstein reportedly died from a skull fracture and severe brain injury, while his wife was only slightly injured. Based on news reports, Bucy was found not guilty of negligent homicide in a D.C. courtroom. Had he been convicted, he could have gone to jail for five years.
During the trial, Bucy argued that he only drifted backward into the space. According to court records, the defendant stated that never hit the accelerator and backed up about 10 feet before feeling the impact of hitting the two elderly individuals. Thinking that he had hit another vehicle, he got out of the van and only then saw the two victims lying under the vehicle.
Police at the scene cited Bucy for braking without caution and issued him a $25 ticket. However, when Greenstein died from his injuries, authorities apparently nullified the ticket and charged Bucy with negligent homicide.
Mount Airy man found not guilty in fatal car accident near Mall, WashingtonPost.com, January 7, 2011