When New Yorkers read about people who have been injured in a car accident, and read that someone has been convicted of criminal charges in relation to the deaths, it is logical to assume that the person who was charged and convicted was the driver of a vehicle that crashed into the one containing the victims. This is frequently the case in an auto accident case, but it is not the only scenario.
A 19-year-old man from Queens was convicted earlier this month on several charges, including second-degree manslaughter, in connection with a fatal car accident in October 2012. As it turns out, however, the teenager was the one behind the wheel of a car involved in a single-vehicle accident. According to prosecutors, the teenager -- who was 17 at the time of the fatal crash -- lost control of his car while driving 100 mph on a Long Island expressway and struck a tree.
Four friends who were passengers in the vehicle were killed. The impact of the crash, in fact, split the teen's new Subaru in half. Miraculously, he survived the accident, but his friends did not.
At his trial, the teen's attorney said that even though the then-17-year-old was speeding and had been using marijuana, the crash was caused by a steep curve on the road. That part of the expressway is known to locals as "Dead Man's Curve."
The jury couldn't decide if the boy's admitted marijuana use contributed to the crash, but did find him guilty of manslaughter, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. He faces up to 15 years behind bars as a result, and might be retried on the issue of his impairment behind the wheel.
Source: NBC New York, "NYC Teen Guilty of 2nd-Degree Manslaughter in Deadly Long Island Crash," June 7, 2014