Prosecutors have filed additional charges against a Maryland man who allegedly drove while under the influence of drugs and caused a small child to suffer a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Police said the 48-year-old man rear-ended another car after using PCP on Dec. 16, 2011. He was allegedly speeding when he hit the car transporting a woman and her daughter, who was then 18 months old. Both mother and child sustained serious injuries, and the child was airlifted to a Baltimore hospital.
The man admitted after the crash that he was under the influence of PCP at the time of the accident and uses the drug habitually. A search warrant executed at his home also turned up an assortment of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The man now faces 11 charges in all, including two counts each of causing a life-threatening injury while using a motor vehicle while impaired, two counts of possession of PCP, marijuana possession, aggressive driving, and failing to control his speed.
Prosecutors said the two charges pertaining to driving and causing the life-threatening injury while under the influence of PCP were the strictest available under Maryland law. Each count, if convicted, would carry a sentence of up to two years and or a fine of $3,000. Since the accident, Maryland legislators have introduced a bill named after the child that would raise the penalty for the life-threatening injury charges.
And while the family is likely happy the man will likely do jail time, they can choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against him. Medical costs will no doubt continue to pile up, and a lawsuit to help cover those expenses would be another way to get a shred of justice from the man.
The toddler stayed in the hospital for more than two months. She currently is living in temporary housing near Baltimore with her family to remain close to the hospital. Her recovery continues, and her young brain must relearn everything it once knew. Doctors have not yet said how much recovery they expect from the brain injury.