A 18-year-old teen was recently found guilty of one count of vehicular assault and three counts of vehicular homicide for her role in a vehicle accident that killed three passengers, as reported in a recent story by The Pueblo Chieftain. The teen was speeding when she suddenly swerved to avoid a pedestrian and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle hit a stone fence, rolled over twice, took out two parked cars and two utility poles before it stopped against a porch of a house.
The three passengers were ejected from the vehicle. Two died at the scene, the third died on the way to the hospital. A fourth passenger was seriously injured but survived. None of the occupants in the vehicle wore a seat belt. The pedestrian was also charged with two counts of third-degree assault, three counts of criminally negligent homicide and three counts of manslaughter. A witness testified that he gave the teen driver the keys to the vehicle when the vehicle’s owner, one of the victims, was too drunk to drive. The teen insisted she was sober enough to drive.
The presiding judge in the teen’s case found both her and the pedestrian’s actions to have caused the fatal accident. Had both the driver and pedestrian made better choices, they would not facing a jail sentence and three young people would still be alive today.
Under Colorado law, both vehicular homicide and vehicular assault are felonies, which carry long jail sentences. In a case like this, a Colorado criminal defense attorney would make sure the teen and her family knows her rights under the law, while being straightforward about the seriousness of the charges she faces. At the very best, the attorney could try to get her a reduced sentence; at the worst, he would have to prepare her for a certain length of time in jail.