A county judge sentenced the defendant to 16 to 48 months in prison on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a 72-year-old woman, and severe injury of her 24-year-old granddaughter. The Erie County district attorney said his office did not charge the defendant with vehicular manslaughter, a more serious crime, because it could not prove the woman was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
However, police said the defendant had been huffing household cleaner for the high provided by one of the chemicals in it. That chemical, diflorothane, is not a controlled substance in New York State.
According to WKBW-TV, she was driving 70 mph in a 30 mph zone when she lost control of her pickup truck. She crashed head-on into a car that contained the deceased woman and her granddaughter. Months later, the deceased’s husband told the court that crash cost him “my grad school sweetheart, a mother taken away from my three sons.” He said he ached for a “warm embrace I will never feel again.”
The WKBW article does not mention if the family is pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Many times, a successful claim can bring peace of mind to grieving families, as well as relieve them of the burden of paying for the deceased’s medical bills and funeral costs.