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Warner Robins car crash results in vehicular homicide charge

Car accidents can range from trivial fender benders to catastrophic multivehicle accidents involving other cars or trucks that often result in severe injuries or fatalities. The cause of these car accidents is nearly infinite in terms of specifics, whether it is drunk driving after a few too many drinks at a bar, or distracted driving from attempting to read or reply to a text on a cellphone.

A typical Georgia car accident is the result of negligence, or operating a vehicle in a manner below the standard with which we would expect a reasonable driver to operate their vehicle. In an extreme case of negligence, a 17-year-old in Warner Robins was charged with criminal vehicular homicide after a car accident in June left his passenger dead.

Now what makes a car accident a criminal offense? In this case, it appears to be due to the fact that the driver was "traveling too fast for the conditions of his ability and roadway geometry,” according to the Houston County Sheriff's Department accident report.

The dune buggy was attempting to make a corner and skidded almost a 100 feet, the last 24 of which, it was upside down. Both occupants of the vehicle were ejected, in part, because they were not wearing seat belts.

This accident was still negligence, but because it left the passenger dead, it was elevated to a criminal offense. Vehicular homicide can be a felony if there are additional aggravating factors involved in the accident.

In a case like this, a separate civil action could be brought against the driver for the wrongful death of the passenger. If you have been involved in any type of car accident, you should always speak with an attorney to determine your legal rights. 

Source: Macon Telegraph, "Warner Robins teen charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide in dune buggy crash," September 4, 2013

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