A 37-year-old New York man has been indicted on charges stemming from a drunk driving crash on Interstate 81 that injured 26 bus passengers in November 2014. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
Authorities allege the defendant was impaired on Nov. 6 when he lost control of his car while traveling south on I-81 between I-481 and Onondaga Nation, spinning it sideways. He is then accused of leaving his disabled vehicle in the roadway and walking away from the scene. Soon after, a Pine Hill Trailways bus crashed while trying to avoid a collision with the abandoned car. All 26 people aboard the bus suffered injuries in the accident.
The defendant, who was found a short distance from the crash scene, told police he consumed two glasses of wine the night of the accident and lost control of his car when he reached for a cigarette. A grand jury indicted the Nedrow resident on assault charges, vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment and drunk driving. The jury handed down a more serious assault charge under the New York Penal Code after finding that he had "recklessly engaged in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person" and ended up causing serious injuries. The particular stature required the jury to find that the defendant displayed "a depraved indifference to human life."
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident caused by the reckless actions of another party may wish to consult with a lawyer. After reviewing the police reports, witness accounts and accident reconstruction results, a lawyer could recommend the proper course of legal action. In some circumstances, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, pain and suffering and other damages.
Source: Syracuse.com, "Nedrow man indicted on harsher assault charge in I-81 bus crash that injured 26," Douglass Dowty , April 24, 2015