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Archive for the tag “vehicular manslaughter”

Driving Under the Influence

Fatal Vehicular Accident Reported in Lynbrook

A Lynbrook, NY man speeding on Sunrise Highway careened his car into another vehicle causing the death of a Lynbrook  man and his passenger, while allegedly high on drugs. John A. Aniano, 25, was operating his 2004 Mercedes Benz west on Sunrise Highway at a high rate of speed when he struck a 2005 Toyota in the rear driven by John Jones, 54 of Lynbrook and his front passenger Sharon Rene Long, 53 of Lynbrook.

The 2005 Toyota was redirected to the east bound lanes when it then struck a 2007 Toyota on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The defendant’s vehicle continued west and eventually came to rest in the vicinity east of Atlantic Avenue.

Lynbrook Fatal Accident

Lynbrook Fatal Accident on 1/12/15 Sunrise Hway and Forest Ave

The 25 year old, Aniano, was said to allegedly be under the influence of drugs, as Homicide Squad detectives stated.

Those drugs included marijuana. Also, two prescription bottles were found in his vehicle. Aniano was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while ability impaired.

A  witness who saw the accident described the car going at least 100mph when the car he hit was decimated.

Paul  Ajlouny, New York car accident attorney, weighs in on this tragic accident,  “This is a devastating accident, with a senseless loss of life. Our condolences go out to the family who lost two of their loved ones. This is also a sad reminder to anyone that chooses to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Nothing good comes from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” Says Mr. Ajlouny.

If a driver is under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana, the risk of a fatal crash is high. Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia, and co-author of the study told HealthDay News.

'drive high, get a DUI'

How high does someone have to be before he can be convicted of a DUI?

Should medical marijuana be legal in New York?

There has been a debate, more so recently, whether medical marijuana should be legal in New York. People even as Nancy Grace have been debating the issue of “weed” against the rapper known as 2 Chainz.

During the debate, a video is shown where someone forced their 2 year old to smoke weed. 2 Chainz thinks that the person had a crack problem, yet on the other hand,

Nancy Grace debates that the reason this person is doing something so horrible, is because they are high on marijuana. Nancy Grace states that people who are high on pot, in this video, is putting his children at danger and making unfounded decisions when high on pot. 2

Is it OK to smoke before driving?

Chainz on the other hand compares the legalization of alcohol to the legalization of marijuana. Nancy Grace could argue that driving under the influence of alcohol has serious, deadly affects. Therefore, the effect that alcohol can have when one is driving is the same effect that marijuana could have when one is driving under the influence.

If one is pulled over, and believed to be drinking under the influence, the police will ask that person to complete various tasks. If you are able to complete these various tasks, then there is a good chance that the person is not drunk. There various tasks are known as the “standard field sobriety test.” Yet, “it is no where as good as spotting a stoned driver.” I

In 2012, a study that was published, stated that only 30 percent of people under the influence of THC failed the field test. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana. “It’s ability to identify a stoned driver seems to depend heavily on whether the driver is accustomed to being stoned.”

Another study was conducted where 50 percent of the less frequent smokers failed the field test. A major problem is that a lot of people, asked over phone surveys, don think that D.U.I laws apply to marijuana.

Yet, evidence shows that that is not the case, and that one does not “drive better while high.” Marijuana use does causes deficits that affect driving ability.

In a state, such as Colorado, there were deaths that were directly linked to pot. A 47 year old man ate marijuana infused candy and then fatally shot his wife.

Also, a 19 year old student had ingested a marijuana cookie and then jumped to his death. The way that someone reacts to marijuana depends on ones size, what they have eaten and the medications they take.

For some people, one hit from a pipe or bong could leave them feeling as if they have had five drinks. Researches at Columbia University state, “Marijuana use doubles the risk of being in a car accident if you drive soon after smoking it, and it causes more car accidents than any other illicit drugs.” The researchers found that it contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2010.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death of 18- to 25-year-olds in the U.S., and driving under the influence is a major cause of accidents. Not every state conducts routine toxicology

In a 2012 study in the journal Addiction found that 57.3 percent of the drivers in this age group who died were on some kind of mind-altering substance, usually alcohol. [The History of 8 Hallucinogens]

Just please remember before you get behind the wheel, don’t drive and drive, don’t text and drive, and don’t smoke and drive. We all have to work together to keep our streets safe, and smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel is just as dangerous and drinking and driving.

Chelsea Horowitz (Ajlouny Injury Law. )

[1] http://www.longislandpress.com/2015/01/13/lynbrook-man-high-on-drugs-in-crash-that-killed-2-cops-say/
[1] http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/nancy-grace-2-chainz-debate.html
[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/health/driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana.html?_r=1
[1] Id.
[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/health/driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana.html?_r=1
[1] http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shapiro-marijuana-danger-20150104-story.html
[1] Id.
[1] http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shapiro-marijuana-danger-20150104-story.html
[1] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/01/13/half-teen-young-adult-car-crash-deaths-involve-pot-or-alcohol/

Drunk Driver Kills Women In Bronx

New Year’s Fatal Crash

Pamela Pimental, 27, A young woman was killed yesterday morning in the Parkchester, Bronx after a drunk driver struck the livery cab she was riding in. The driver, Hernan Vega, was arrested.

January 1, a collision at Cross Bronx Expressway and Rosedale Avenue. According to police the 2004 Mercury Marquis livery cab had been at the intersection, facing westbound on the Cross Bronx Expressway Service Road and waiting for a red light, when a 2011 Dodge Charger going west on the CBE struck the cab from behind.

livery cab passenger killed

Drunk Driver Kills Livery Cab Passenger in the Bronx.

The livery cab passenger was pronounced dead at Jacobi Hospital while the 54-year-old driver was taken to Einstein Hospital in stable condition.

The Charger’s driver, Hernan Vega, was also taken to Jacobi Hospital—and he was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Two passengers in Vega’s Dodge Charger, a 37-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Paul Ajlouny, New York car accident attorney, weighs in on this tragic accident, “There’s no excuse for such a tragic accident. That drunk driver never once considered the dangers of getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

Never once considered what he could lose driving drunk, let alone killing someone. Just senseless and tragic at the cost of a young women’s life. condolences to the young women’s family.” Say’s Mr.Ajlouny.

Mother And Child Struck By Vehicle In Borough Park

Crash tragedy: daughter dies, pregnant mom gives birth

A horrific crash has killed a child and inured her pregnant mother in Borough Park, Brooklyn on Tuesday night, December 2, 2014.

A mother and her child were struck by a negligent driver. After being struck, the 33-year-old mother was pinned beneath the minivan. The accident happened just before 9:00PM at the intersection of 18th Avenue and 60th Street. FDNY and NYPD were on the scene in moments to extricate the victims.

Bilal Ghumman allegedly stole a Honda Minivan from Royal Parking garage. Ghumman works at a catering hall and it is said that he took the car from the garage to run an errand. Ghumman hit a 10-year old girl and her pregnant mother. The 10-year old girl, identified as Blima Friedman, was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center, and pronounced dead.

The mother remains in a coma in critical condition, unaware that she has both lost a daughter and given birth.

Ghumman, the driver of the stolen Minivan remained at the scene. He was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle without the owner’s consent and was “slapped” with a violation on an active warrant for marijuana-based offense.

Residents in the area describe the level of reckless driving as, “out of control”. There is a total disregard for speed limits, stop signs, and red lights. Not only are the streets slippery due to weather conditions, but everybody is in a rush with an obvious disregard to the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

Every year in Borough Park children are struck and killed. This horrific accident is yet another unfortunate, heartbreaking reminder that everyone needs to be responsible and alert when driving or crossing as a pedestrian. Wearing reflectors at night, being alert and responsible as drivers can do to stop road accidents, just being careful, as pedestrians and drivers.

“Traffic fatalities are always terrible, but when the victim is a child it’s simply tragic” said New York motor vehicle accident attorney, Neil Flynn. “This family will be shattered by the loss of their little girl, and it sounds like it all might have been avoided if the businesses involved had enacted sufficient security and employee screening procedures to ensure the driver
did not have access to the vehicle.”

New York City, with its congested flow of motor vehicle traffic, especially in the evenings, and on weekends, accounts for a great deal of car crashes each year. New York City including the 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island (Richmond County), Brooklyn (Kings County), and the Bronx has had a total of 1,109 fatal crashes in the 2013 year.” 1

“In New York state and city, drivers are rarely charged criminally if they kill another person in a crash, according to data compiled by the state and analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. That is because New York’s vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter statutes apply only to motorists who are drunk or on drugs—one of the narrowest standards for conviction in the nation, legal experts said.” 2

“In New York state, drivers were charged with vehicular manslaughter or aggravated vehicular homicide in about 5% of the 4,801 fatal crashes from 2008 to 2012, according the latest data available from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles. These figures exclude Suffolk County due to data irregularities. In the same time frame in New York City, there were 66 arrests under vehicular homicide laws out of 1,298 crashes—also about 5%, the analysis shows.”

“Since 2008, the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents has remained relatively steady in New York City and in the state. But pedestrian fatalities in the city climbed 23.5% last year, from 136 in 2012 to 168 in 2013, according to police department data.”

Even if the driver of this vehicle was sober, since he was involved in a deadly crash it is possible that he can be charged with another crime, such as negligent homicide, manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter. Yet, that does not happen often because the statutes, in NY, require that there be a higher degree of “culpability than the vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide requirements that a motorist be drunk or on drugs.”

The NY Court of Appeals had a case before them in 2008 where they did not charge a limousine driver with negligent homicide, despite the death of another motorist. The court of Appeals reasoning in this decision stated that when the limousine driver realized and decided to make a U-turn, that U-turn “does not rise to the level of ‘morally blameworthy’ conduct required to establish that the defendant committed the crime of criminally negligent homicide.”

The standard of “moral blameworthiness” is the same standard in a fatal crash if one were to be charged with manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter.

Therefore, in order for a motorist to be charged, the prosecutor must prove that the driver “knew that he/she was driving recklessly or immorally.”

The New York law is a lot different from many other states. New York does not incorporate reckless or criminally negligent behavior into their statues. Unfortunately, there was a case against Julio Acevedo, who had run over and killed a man in Brooklyn and his pregnant wife. Acevedo was speeding during this time.

It seems as if these cases are happening too often, and people are getting let off the hook for the killing of an innocent pedestrian.

“Pedestrians have been killed in 17.5% of all collision fatalities in New York state and 54% in New York City.”

These statistics show that too many pedestrians are being innocently killed. With that being said, our condolences go out to the family of Blima Friedman, one whose live was taken too soon due to another persons actions.

It is discomforting to even think what one goes through when they lose their child. It is even worse to think when one lose their child due to the negligent, irresponsible, and illegal acts of another. Many would want to think the birth of a child should be a happy time, but it is unrealistic to think how this family can be happy at the birth of one child when they have just lost another.

At Ajlouny Injury Law, we see cases on a daily basis when the negligent acts of another cause serious injury, or even death to an innocent person. The laws that are in place now do not fully protect those, or the family of those people who are killed by another. No one should have to live their live knowing that the “murder” of your child is roaming the streets and got let loose with no ramifications due to there being no law in place directly on this issue.

The heartbreaking and unimaginable pain of the family of Blima Friedman, mother and baby, our heartfelt condolences . We don’t understand why these tragic things happen.

Chelsea Horowitz
Ajlouny Injury Law

  1. http://dmv.ny.gov/statistic/2013nyscrashsummary.pdf
  2. http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303465004579322441555410428

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