A motorist involved in a fatal 2013 auto accident in Sayville pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Feb. 20, and he faces a 21-year prison sentence. Prosecutors reported that the 48-year-old Patchogue man was high on drugs such as morphine and PCP when the collision occurred.
The Sayville accident took place on Montauk Highway when the Patchogue man traveled west in his 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer and slammed into another vehicle head-on. When questioned, the man admitted to speeding and striking five other cars before the fatal collision. He reportedly traveled nearly three times above the 30 mph speed limit when the crash happened.
The 82-year-old man, who was from West Islip, driving the vehicle that was hit died while his 79-year-old female passenger, who is from Oakdale, suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg and a broken hip. The families of both victims approved of the plea deal the Patchogue man accepted that would result in 21 years in prison.
A grand jury indicted the man for charges including aggravated vehicular homicide and murder in the second degree by depraved indifference. Since proving murder by depraved indifference in vehicular cases is difficult, the district attorney favored this plea deal because the defendant admitted guilt and cannot appear before a parole board for two decades.
Criminal charges can give a victim’s family a sense of justice and closure after a fatal car accident, but a suit in civil court could help a decedent’s loved ones also. If the negligence of another person resulted in an accident that injured or killed someone else, the responsible party may be liable for expenses victims or their families face.