A minor auto collision can result in very little bodily harm, but drivers don’t just share the road amongst themselves. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and especially pedestrians are defenseless in comparison to a car, and consequently receive serious or even fatal injuries in car accidents. As a Seattle personal injury attorney, I believe that all drivers should make an extra effort to drive safely in areas populated by these groups. It’s easy to forget how fragile they are in comparison to a car, but the damages one can inflict on them is not so easily forgotten.
On July 29th, 2011, a 17-year-old girl from Bellingham was sentenced to vehicular homicide charges for a fatal pedestrian accident she caused in September. The teen, who admitted to being distracted at the time, rear-ended a car, slamming it into a family legally crossing the street. 2-year-old Anna Broulotte was lost that day. Commissioner Alfred Heydrich of Whatcom County Juvenile Court sentenced the teen to 30 days in juvenile detention, 150 hours of community service, and one year of community supervision. This was a much more forgiving sentence than what the prosecutors had pursued, but included additional community service as a way of “directly contributing to the cause of avoiding further loss of innocent lives,” as Heydrich put it. The Broulotte family is satisfied with the sentence.
The passing of the toddler Anna is an absolute tragedy. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, and we hope that Heydrich has set the young driver on the right path towards recovery and growth as an individual. She has her whole life ahead of her and will hopefully make decisions in the future that won’t lead to such a heartbreaking loss.
To learn about Premier Law Group’s Teens Against Distracted Driving program, click here.
To read more about accidents resulting from distracted driving, click here.