You may think that a driver who was not drunk at the time of a fatal pedestrian accident won't face penalties, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Depending on the circumstances, anyone can face charges for hitting and hurting or killing another person. In fact, this exact situation occurred recently in Oregon.
According to a report from May 12, a 38-year-old man has been convicted of a felony for hitting a pedestrian. The man was not intoxicated, but he was criminally negligent, according to the deputy distract attorney. She claims that he was criminally negligent because he failed to stop before a marked crosswalk.
The crosswalk was identified with flashing amber lights at Stark Street and Southeast 160th Avenue. Despite this, he drove past other vehicles that had stopped for the pedestrian. He stuck the 75-year-old man who later died from his injuries.
The pedestrian was wearing light-colored clothing, and the affidavit reported that the street lights were on at the time. The crash happened at around 5:40 p.m. in November, so it may have been getting dark outside.
Although the man did admit to using marijuana habitually, he was not found to have been intoxicated at the time of the crash and was not charged for driving under the influence. He accepted a plea deal that also included a lifetime ban from driving that he can appeal in around a decade.
Crashes like this are preventable if drivers pay attention. If others are slowing or stopping, there is usually a reason to do so as well. If you're struck by a driver or lose a loved one in this manner, you have a right to move forward with a claim.
Source: Oregon Live, "Sober driver who killed pedestrian in crosswalk is convicted of felony," Aimee Green, May 12, 2017