Missouri Driver Charged in Death of 2 Road Construction Workers

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Kansas City, Missouri-area man caused an out-of-state accident that took the lives of two road crew members when he took his eyes off the road, prosecutors in that state said on July 9. They officially charged him with misdemeanor careless driving, which carries maximum penalties of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The relatively light charges against the man may seem surprising given the tragic nature of the accident, but state law prevented authorities from seeking more serious charges, according to the prosecutor handling the case.

The accident occurred as the defendant, 22, was driving from Raymore to Minnesota to visit his girlfriend on Oct. 13, 2011. The driver, who had purchased his car just two days earlier, was in a construction zone on a local branch of Interstate 35 when he became distracted by the car’s cruise control. When he returned his attention to the highway, he saw he had drifted to construction barriers and overcorrected to the right.

He veered back and forth across the road until crashing into a pole. The car continued into an area where the two victims, 47 and 44, were working. The car struck and killed both men.

A police investigation concluded that speed was not a factor in the fatal collision, though the defendant received a speeding ticket earlier that day. The investigation also found that the defendant was not intoxicated or using a cell phone at the time of the crash, preventing prosecutors from charging him with gross negligence.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Judge gives careless driver 90 days for fatal 2011 crash in Burnsville,” Herón Márquez Estrada, July 9, 2012

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