A paralyzed man who had served seven years in prison for a terrible traffic accident in which a Hagerstown couple were killed in 2002 was recently arrested for violating a condition of his ongoing probation, that of not getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in Maryland. As a Maryland auto accident attorney and personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen many cases where a motorist was convicted of negligent manslaughter and sentenced to multiple years in prison.
According to news reports, 31-year-old Matthew David Meyer of Ellicott City, Maryland, has been on probation for several years now, having served his jail time for the deaths of Gerald and Mary Dietrich of Hagerstown, MD. Based on police reports, however, Meyer was taken into custody in mid-December by Howard County Sheriff, James Fitzgerald, a couple weeks ago for violating a no-drive order as part of his probation agreement.
Meyer had been sentenced to serve seven years in jail, as well as receiving another seven-year suspended sentence following his plea of no contest to two charges of vehicular manslaughter. The charges arose out of an October 23, 2002, car accident in which the Dietrichs, 59 and 61 years old, were killed when their pickup was hit by a BMW driven by Meyer. In situations such as this, a wrongful death lawsuit is one option that the family of the victims can choose to pursue.
According to court records, the prosecutors for the State of Maryland have recently stated that they considered Meyer “an assassin on wheels.” Meyer had reportedly been paralyzed in a 2000 crash in Pennsylvania but was still driving, according to reports, prior to fatal wreck that killed the Dietrichs. As condition of Meyer’s seven-year probation was that he not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle in Maryland.
The order to issue the warrant signed last December 9 by Judge W. Kennedy stated that Meyer was still on three years’ probation following his release from prison in 2008 and was issued a Maryland driver’s license in April 2010 after completing a driver-improvement program.
Reports show that Meyer was cited for driving “at a speed in excess of reasonable and prudent” on June 29; the officer in charge reportedly clocked Meyer’s vehicle at 84mph in a 40mph zone. Less than a week later, on July 4, he was cited for another motor vehicle violation, according to the court order.
A hearing on the alleged violation of Meyer’s probation is scheduled for February 16, according to court records. If he is found in violation, Meyer could be facing another seven years in prison.
Driver imprisoned for manslaughter charged with violating probation, Herald-Mail.com, December 21, 2010
Ellicott City paraplegic, convicted in couple’s death, accused of driving again, BaltimoreSun.com, December 22, 2010