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Jury: 75 years behind bars for intoxicated driver in car accident

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A criminal defendant who caused a fatal crash in February has been sentenced to a 75-year prison term in Texas after the conclusion of a jury trial. The man, age 32, was accused of intentionally smashing into the rear end of a Honda minivan on Feb. 7. The man had apparently threatened to kill his passenger and himself, which compelled him to crash into the other vehicle. A 16-year-old girl died in the fatal car accident.

Even though the man's attorneys had urged jurors to consider the charge of intoxicated manslaughter, they chose to convict the man on murder charges. The fatal car accident was so violent that it caused the teenage girl to be ripped out of her seat belt and ejected from the vehicle. Responders said that the scene looked as though a bomb had gone off near the intersection of Main Street and Old U.S. 90, located in the town of Vidor, Texas.

The defendant in this case demonstrated intoxication, and his blood sample tested positive for PCP and marijuana. The man also had alcohol in his system, but it was considered below the legal limit for driving. Defense attorneys attempted to convince the jury that the accident should be blamed on the drugs and not on the man's poor decision-making.

Investigators say that the defendant's vehicle was sent flying through the air before it crashed down on top of the minivan. That car then proceeded to flip over several times. It ultimately landed about 245 feet from the location where the minivan was stopped.

Drivers such as this man should obviously be punished to the fullest extent of the law -- and that means in civil court, as well. Such defendants obviously have a reckless disregard for the welfare of others, and they should be held responsible for their actions. These drivers should be required to pay for funeral expenses, pain and suffering and other civil claims filed by surviving family members.

Source: Beaumont Enterprise, "Jury sentences Beaumont man to 75 years for fatal crash" Manuella Libardi, Aug. 28, 2014

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