Man sentenced in hike-and-bike trail accident

Accidents that involve cars and pedestrians often have dire outcomes. A person who is struck by a car has no protection; therefore injuries from these types of accidents are often severe, and in the most tragic cases, fatal. Our Houston readers may be interested in the outcome of a plea deal that stemmed from an Austin car accident that killed one pedestrian and critically injured another.

A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a hike and bike trail accident that occurred in May, 2012. The accident killed an 80-year-old retired colonel and injured a 47-year-old college professor. The accident took place under the Lamar Boulevard bridge on Ceasar Chavez. This particular stretch of roadway puts cars within inches of the hike and bike trail.

According to a passenger in the car, the 22-year-old had fallen asleep seven times while driving. According to witnesses, after the accident both the driver and passenger tried to walk away from the scene, but were stopped by law enforcement. The pair attempted to convince authorities that a third person in the car had been driving, but eventually admitted they were the only two in the vehicle.

In exchange for the plea deal, the original charges of manslaughter and two counts of failure to stop and render aid were dropped. A judge sentenced the man to five years for each count, revoked the man's probation on two unrelated charges and added 100 days to his prison term. The man's sentences will be served concurrently.

When an accident results in death or serious injuries, those who are wronged have the legal right to seek compensation. The surviving family members of the man who was killed could seek damages for funeral expenses and loss of companionship, and the woman who was injured could seek remuneration for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Source:, "Man pleads guilty in fatal hike-and-bike trail crash" No author given, Aug. 05, 2013

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