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Justice served: Queens drunk driver convicted of manslaughter

A man from Queens was convicted of manslaughter by jurors last Thursday after he killed a Vietnam veteran who was walking across the street in a crosswalk in Elmont. Jurors also convicted him of one out of two DUI charges.

The incident happened in 2013. A half-full bottle of Heineken beer was found inside the 44-year-old driver's vehicle. Approximately four hours later, a blood-alcohol test revealed that the driver had a 0.16 blood alcohol level, which is double the legal limit. One of the DUI charges stuck, and another one was thrown out. The driver claimed that the victim jumped into traffic, but video evidence presented during litigation showed that this was not true.

The sister of the pedestrian who was killed said that she and her family are happy that the driver was convicted and will not be on the road endangering citizens anymore. The convicted driver could face as many as 15 years in prison.

Sadly, the man's daughter will be turning 16 this week, but her dad will not be present. She will lose any emotional and financial support she would be receiving from him in the future because of this accident.

Family members of Queens pedestrians killed by drunk drivers may have the ability to seek wrongful death claims in civil court. Although no amount of money is ever sufficient to right the wrong of losing a loved one to someone else's negligence, a wrongful death claim can be a way for victims' family members to obtain some kind of closure regarding the loss of their loved one.

Source: Newsday, "Queens man found guilty of manslaughter in fatal collision," Bridget Murphy, Aug. 11, 2016

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