Ultimately, however, a judge decided that the alcohol use didn’t directly contribute to the fatal motorcycle accident — but he did find the man guilty of driving under the influence. The most serious charge the man faced, homicide by vehicle while under the influence, carried with it a three-year prison sentence because of it being a second-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

The judge said that it was clear that alcohol played a part in the crash, but the prosecutors in the case didn’t prove that it was a direct cause of the accident. Rather, he said, the fact that the man was at least 15 mph over the posted speed limit on a curving section of road, in the dark, most directly factored into the crash.

The deceased passenger’s family continues to mourn her, more than three years after the fatal crash. Her brother said she was like a second mother to him after his parents’ divorce. It’s for reasons such as these that family members of motorcycle accident victims may wish to work with an experienced accident attorney — to seek compensation for a life cut short.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Former Pittsburgh officer guilty of DUI in crash that killed passenger,” Adam Brandolph, Oct. 8, 2013