STATE v. R.P.
Charge: BMV Suspension for Negligent Motor Vehicle Death
Penalty: Mandatory 3 year loss of license
Summary: Client was driving a fully loaded gravel truck when he observed a hazard in the road ahead. He attempted to take emergency braking action and found that his brakes weren't responding. Client swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic, striking another vehicle head on. The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. Client submitted to a blood test and was found to be sober at the time of the crash. The District Attorney decided not to bring manslaughter charges against the client. However, the BMV suspended his license for 3 years without a hearing.
Result: We got The Crash Lab involved to review the state's expert crash report and to conduct our own reconstruction. We learned that the state's expert inputted critical data incorrectly, which accounted for a much higher braking efficiency (and thus, a higher speed prior to braking). The expert's opinion formed the basis for the suspension. My expert also learned that the braking efficiency of the dump truck was reduced by 60% due to mechanical failures that the driver could not have reasonably been aware of. As a result of our expert's report and testimony before the hearing's officer at the BMV, the suspension of my client's license was lifted and he was immediately reinstated without further sanction. Client was relieved to be able to go back to work as he'd been out of work for approximately 5 months prior to conducting the hearing.