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Man gets long probation term after woman dies in crash

In the aftermath of some car accidents, failing to act is what causes damage. In such situations, performing a needed action, even summoning help, could be considered a responsibility or obligation. Lack of appropriate action can even result in wrongful death.

Failure to act could be a major factor in the death of a 20-year-old Austin woman who was the passenger in a motor vehicle accident. The driver, who earlier that evening allegedly had been drinking with friends, agreed to give the woman a ride in his car. During the drive, he reportedly got distracted and crashed the vehicle, causing it to roll over.

When the driver was unable to rouse his passenger, he left her at the scene of the accident and attempted to walk to the hospital. He told authorities that before he was able to reach the hospital, he blacked out. The police were not called, and his passenger was later found dead at the scene.

The driver was sentenced to 6 months in jail for vehicular homicide. In an unusual bit of jurisprudence, the judge in the case gave the man a 10-year suspended sentence for failure to render aid. In essence, that means the man will be on probation for 10 years -- so if he runs afoul of the terms of his probation, he would go to prison. The probationary period includes a prohibition against being in a bar from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

No matter what the cause of death may be, nothing will bring the woman back. However, the person responsible for that death can be held accountable for the consequences of his actions.

Source: KHOU-TV, "Man gets jail, probation for deadly rollover accident," Heather Kovar, May 30, 2013

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