The criminal case stemming from a tragic car vs. motorcycle accident that occurred in Alton, Illinois, two years ago came to a close this week. The driver of the car that was involved in this fatal crash had already pleaded guilty to reckless homicide charges, and on Tuesday he was sentenced to three years in prison.
The collision took place in May 2011. The motorist was reportedly under the influence of prescription medications and talking on a cellphone when he crashed into the rear end of a motorcycle driven by a 51-year-old Alton man.
The motorcyclist was thrown from the bike as a result of the impact and he died of head injuries.
The accident took place in Alton, in the area of Brown and Spaulding Streets.
The surviving loved ones of the victim appear to have also already closed a civil case related to this fatal motorcycle accident. A news report states that a lawsuit that accused the man of careless driving has been settled.
Criminal cases are handled separately from civil lawsuits. Criminal cases are pretty much in the hands of police and prosecutors, who gather evidence and press criminal charges when someone causes a motor vehicle accident because he or she broke the law.
Civil cases do not deal with criminal laws. They deal with negligence--or a general failure to use reasonable care to prevent injuring another person. Families of car or motorcycle accident victims often pursue civil lawsuits in order to obtain compensation for funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred before death, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Of course, neither criminal cases nor civil cases can bring back the person who has been lost or lessen the pain associated with such a loss. It is important that these paths are available, however, as they help victims and their loved ones obtain justice and hold dangerous drivers accountable for their actions.
Source: ksdk.com, "Lloyd Denny sentenced to prison in reckless homicide death of motorcyclist," May 8, 2013