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Deadly Car Accident Results in Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

A 46-year-old Texas man was recently sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in a fatal car accident last year.

Last summer, on July 3, 2010, the 46-year-old man was speeding through a Houston neighborhood in his Dodge pickup truck. Just before midnight, the driver ran a stop sign, colliding with a Pontiac sedan. The Dodge truck was believed to be traveling 67 miles per hour when it T-boned the sedan. The two occupants of the Pontiac died at the scene of the fatal car accident.

Before police arrived at the accident scene, the 46 year old convinced his fiancé to slide behind the wheel and tell police that she was driving. Police arrived, and finding her drunk, they charged her with intoxication manslaughter.

Upon closer look, the prosecutor noticed a seatbelt burn on the woman's right side -- suggesting that she had been sitting in the passenger seat at the time of impact. A DNA test on the airbags revealed that the 46-year-old man had been driving.

The man was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter.

Last week, during the 46 year old's sentencing, a state district judge chastised the driver for attempting to blame his fiancé for the fatal high-speed crash, noting that he should have called 911 or at least tried to help the two dying men.

It is unknown whether the surviving families of the two Houston men will try to pursue a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the 46-year-old driver.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Man gets 45 years in manslaughter case," 9/7/11.

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