A Maryland man will spend 30 months in prison for his role in a car accident that left an 18-year-old student dead.
Last fall, the man, 23, was ferrying six fellow students in his small car near the military college they attended in another state. He lost control of the car on a curve and it went off the road, killing the young woman and critically injuring three others.
Prosecutors said the driver’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.21, which is more than twice the legal limit.
The judge signed off on a plea deal for the man, who is from Gaithersburg, Maryland. The sentence in the deal was for five to 12 years in prison, with all but two and a half years suspended, leaving him with 30 months to spend behind bars. He had pleaded guilty to drunken driving that resulted in a death and added a no contest plea to leaving the scene of a crash.
The father of the young woman who died is a state trooper. He admonished the man in court for not slowing down when his passengers asked him to, terrorizing his daughter in her final moments.
The driver apologized in court to the victims and their families, acknowledging he tried to fit too many people into his car and that he was reckless. The young woman did not have a seat of her own; she was instead sitting on the laps of other passengers.
As part of the plea deal, the man will have to warn high school students of the dangers of drinking and driving. He said it will be his mission in the future to prevent similar accidents.
The man’s intentions might be good, but they will be of little consolation to the young woman’s family. While it will not bring her back, a successful wrongful death suit against the driver could give the woman’s father a little piece of justice that he is seeking.