Grieving mother found not guilty of vehicular homicide in an emotional trial
It all started with an illegal U-turn that became a nightmare for a mother and her family. Suddenly, a violent collision involving a speeding truck resulted in the death of one of the children in the car.
Not only did the mother lose her child, she was charged with operating to endanger and vehicular homicide. Having to live with the tragedy of losing a daughter was the most pain and suffering the mother could ever experience but now she also feared going to jail for a serious crime if convicted.
This fear brought her to the offices of Eden Rafferty and to Criminal Defense Attorneys Richard Rafferty and Greg Benoit, known experts in motor vehicle accidents and motor vehicle homicides. Attorney Rafferty and Benoit sat down with the client and explained the trial process to her, reassuring her that they would do everything they could to lift the heavy burden of defense that added to her fear, apprehension, and grief.
Throughout the trial, they would represent her in court, sparing her from as much additional trauma as possible.
There were several prosecutors in the case and much evidence to go through. Both the client and the truck driver were charged. Evidence from the medical examiner’s office was presented. There were several hearings, most of which were short, and the client had to appear briefly in some of them.
Both Attorney Rafferty and Attorney Benoit examined all the evidence, specifically focusing on the accident reconstruction report that was completed by the police department. Attorney Benoit using his own calculations, determined that the speed of the truck that hit his client was excessive, estimated to be 78 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.
Attorney Benoit’s experience with the Worcester District Attorney’s office turned out to be a major benefit to this client. He was a member of the Motor Vehicle Homicide Unit and had studied active reconstruction of accidents.
During the cross-examination of the officer, who was the Accident Reconstructionist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the trial, Attorney Benoit was able to show that even though his client made an illegal U-turn, had the truck driver been going the proper speed limit, she would have cleared his lane by 5 or 6 seconds; or, if he had been going the proper speed limit, he would’ve had enough perception-reaction time to stop his vehicle from hitting her. Because he was traveling at such a high rate of speed, he had no reaction time. As a result, he broadsided her car, killing her daughter.
The overshadowing element was that the client’s daughter died in this accident, so there was nothing the court could do that would make this any less of a tragedy for her.
The client was found not guilty of motor vehicle homicide as well as not guilty of operating to endanger. She did make an illegal U-turn, and that was put on her record. She also received her license back which had been suspended since the accident. After the evidence was in, she was discharged from her arrest and freed to go.
According to Attorney Benoit, “This was one of the emotionally toughest cases I’ve ever had to try.”