A news report about the case has few details about the collision. The defendant, now 26, was driving after attending a concert. It is not clear if alcohol was served at the concert, or if she drank at another location.
The victim’s family says the area where he was walking was unsafe, lacking sidewalks, guardrails or even a shoulder of the road, and was unlit. The family is suing the county and sheriff’s department for wrongful death. After the accident, the county installed a pedestrian walkway separated from the road by barriers.
Meanwhile, the driver avoided homicide by vehicle charges. The judge sentenced her to 30 months of probation, six months of which must be house arrest, and 150 hours of community service. The service must involve speaking to students about drunk driving. Her defense attorney admitted the sentence “might be light,” but insisted that it will have an “emotional impact” on her.
We discussed drunk driving in the blog not too long ago. It is a big problem in Pennsylvania, and everyone near a drunk driver is a potential victim, whether they are in another car, or just walking nearby. Criminal laws are there to punish offenders, but for compensation, victims might have to go to court.