8 years for Ohio man in fatal car accident

Emotions were running high recently in a Youngstown, Ohio, courtroom as the mother of a young man killed in a fatal hit-and-run accident addressed the court with her prepared statement. The woman's son, a 23-year-old semi-pro football player was killed after the defendant struck him with a rental car he had borrowed and then later tried to repair the damage he had caused.

The judge listened to the 25-year-old defendant offer his apologies to the victim's surviving family members and loved ones before sentencing the man to eight years in prison for the fatal accident. The defendant must also pay a fine of $5,000 and his license will be suspended for ten years following his release.

Prior to the sentencing, the victim's mother asked the judge to deliver the maximum available punishment against the defendant, citing the need to protect public safety as the chief concern. Ironically, there was another hit-and-run accident and a vigil held for the victim which resulted in several people being injured. A friend of the victim seemed unsatisfied with the sentence, saying that eight years was not adequate compensation for the full lifetime of his friend. The victim's family remains unconvinced of the defendant's feelings of culpability for the accident. Although they acknowledge that the collision which killed the victim was accidental, they say that so far the defendant has shown little remorse.

The pain and feelings of loss felt by that victim's mother and his friends are real. They have been deprived of a lifetime of shared experiences with the victim by the defendant's careless actions. Despite the defendant's criminal conviction, the victim's family is still entitled to pursue a civil action against the defendant for the wrongful death of their loved one. Perhaps then he might show an appropriate amount of remorse for what he has done. There are often time limits restricting when these types of claims can be filed. The victim's family should act soon to preserve their claim and ensure that the full measure of justice is served.

Source: WFMJ, "Youngstown man sentenced for fatal hit and run" No author given, Apr. 08, 2014

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