A 19-year-old Queens resident has been found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of four of his friends back in Oct. 2012. New York authorities brought the book down on the young man after it was determined his reckless driving led to the car accident that killed four other individuals on a state parkway on Long Island. He is facing a considerable jail sentence in association with the verdict.
Two years ago, the 19-year-old driver was taking his high-performance vehicle for a spin with four friends on the Southern State Parkway. It is estimated when the crash happened the driver was traveling in excess of 100 mph. There are still questions as to whether the driver was impaired from marijuana use at the time of the accident.
The vehicle apparently left the road, striking a tree at extremely high speed. The force of the impact sheared the car completely in half, killing all four of the passengers instantly. The driver narrowly avoided a vehicular homicide charge that would have put him away for 25 years or more but, instead, was found guilty of two lesser charges. He will face five to 15 years in prison for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.
The tragedy of this car accident lies in its preventability. Had the driver obeyed New York traffic laws, there would have been no reason for the crash to take place. In addition to the jail time he now faces, he may face wrongful death lawsuits from the families of the deceased victims, who will be entitled to use his criminal conviction as evidence in a civil case based upon the same accident.
Source: NBC New York, “NYC Teen Guilty of 2nd-Degree Manslaughter in Deadly Long Island Crash“, , June 7, 2014