June 6, 2014

On June 5, a New Hanover, Pennsylvania, women received her sentence for her role in the negligent vehicular death of an elderly pedestrian. The 64-year-old former school bus driver will avoid prison time but she will be on probation for three years for misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter. Additionally, she must complete 600 hours of community service.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant was driving her school bus in Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, with five children on board, headed to school. It was around 7:08 a.m. on Sep. 9, 2013. When police say that the front bumper of the bus struck a 78-year-old Pottstown, Pennsylvania woman while she was crossing the street at Mervine and North Charlotte streets. The defendant continued on after the pedestrian accident and delivered the children to school before returning to her home. Police later discovered her there after an intense investigation. She claims that she was unaware that she had struck a person.

At her sentencing hearing, the defendant demonstrated profound remorse for the death of her victim. Her defense attorney mentioned that the defendant had a spotless driving record prior to the accident. She had not even received a speeding or parking ticket in over 30 years of driving.

In an unusual twist, the victim’s family did not seek stiff punishment for the defendant but instead asked that the woman be compelled to spend the bulk of her 600 hours of community service helping the homeless in Pottstown. The victim had been very involved in providing assistance to local homeless people prior to her death.

When an automobile hits a pedestrian, the results are usually death or catastrophic injuries for the pedestrian. In the event a person survives such an encounter, they often suffer multiple broken bones and serious internal injuries that require lots of medical treatment and a significant time to heal. Victims of pedestrian accidents should know that they may be legally entitled to sue to recover their losses due to the injuries they received.

Source: The Mercury News, “School bus driver sentenced for fatal Lower Pottsgrove crash” Carl Hessler, Jun. 05, 2014