The SUV driver who hit and killed an infant in a stroller in Lansdowne, Virginia in a crosswalk was sentenced this month to a year in jail. The sentence was the maximum that the 47 year old Leesburg man could receive under state law. Prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge last year.
The man pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge after the fatal August 2016 accident. The crosswalk accident killed a five month old boy on Aug. 31, 2016 as his mother was pushing his stroller across Riverside Parkway in Lansdowne. The woman was severely hurt when the driver’s Jeep Cherokee slammed into her and her son. She has since recovered.
The judge in the fatal pedestrian accident stated that the accident was tragic and the driver had failed in his responsibility to use care while driving.
The driver apologized in court to the family several times. He said at the time of the accident that he was watching traffic in the intersection and did not see the woman in the crosswalk. The mother of the child said in court that the pain of her broken bones was nothing compared to the loss of her child. She said that she suffers terrible grief every day and that she is no longer who she was.
Prosecutors had tried to prove that he was using his cell phone when the crash happened, but a review of cell phone records showed that was not the case.
This Virginia pedestrian accident is one of those tragic cases that we wish as personal injury attorneys would never happen. Clearly, it was simply an accident and the man who committed the act regrets what happened. But the fact is that we all have responsibilities as licensed drivers to use care when we are behind the wheel. We are especially supposed to use extreme caution when there are pedestrians in a crosswalk. The woman had obeyed the law and was in the crosswalk as she was legally allowed to do. Nonetheless, the driver did not stop and slammed into her and a child.
Getting only a year in jail for this crime seems too light, but the driver may have to pay other consequences. The woman may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. If the preponderance of the evidence shows that he caused the death of the infant, he could have to pay for the woman’s pain and suffering and other damages.