Austin man pleads guilty to fatally striking pedestrian on trail
When under the control of the wrong person, an automobile can be a deadly weapon. A careless or inattentive driver can easily unleash havoc on other vehicles on the road, or -- frequently worse -- pedestrians. This is the situation that happened in May 2012 in Austin, in which one person was killed and another was injured in an auto accident.
The case was in the headlines again this month because the 22-year-old driver pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case. He had initially been charged with manslaughter, but he ultimately pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; there was one count of each charge for each of the people who were hit. The judge in the case sentenced the driver to five years in prison on each count; the man will serve the sentence concurrently.
The accident occurred when a car plowed into two people who were walking on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. A passenger in the car said the driver had fallen asleep repeatedly behind the wheel after staying up all night. The two occupants of the car initally tried to flee the scene, but police quickly apprehended them.
As he was being led out of the courtroom, the driver told the deceased victim's family repeatedly that he was sorry for what he had done. While family members in a case such as this one might gain some satisfaction from a criminal conviction, they often choose to seek compensation from negligent parties as well.
Source: Austin American-Statesman, "Man pleads guilty to deadly crash on Butler Hike and Bike Trail," Jazmine Ulloa, Aug. 5, 2013