A woman who was driving an estimated 70 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone and weaving in and out of traffic has been convicted of reckless homicide in the death of a 9-year-old boy.
According to The News-Gazette, Melissa K. Darr, 42, of Gifford, Ill., was darting in and out of traffic on U.S. 136 headed toward Interstate 57 on May 25, 2007. Darr testified that she had argued with her husband the night before and that her husband had taken their 4-year-old son. While she was driving, her husband told her she would not be getting their son back.
Darr got onto the I-57 ramp which limits speed to 35 miles per hour because of a tight curve. Her SUV blew a tire then went through the grass and up on the highway.
Raymundo Vazquez Sr. of Chicago was driving his van southbound. He testified that Darr’s SUV hit the back of his van, causing him to a hit a guardrail. His 9-year-old son, Raymundo Vazquez Jr. was thrown from the van and died of head and chest injuries.
Two state troopers testified that, in their opinion, the vehicles did not touch because there was no paint transfer.
But that didn’t matter, Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Kanis told the jury.
“She’s flying on that ramp. It was inevitable. She couldn’t hold the curve. If she didn’t hit him, he was avoiding her.”
It only took the Champaign County jury 90 minutes to convict Darr of reckless homicide. Her sentencing is set for Oct. 23. Darr faces a maximum of five years in prison.
In this case, it didn’t matter if Darr intended to hurt or kill someone. All that mattered was that she meant to drive recklessly.
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident resulting from the negligence of another or a loved one has been hurt or killed in such an accident, please contact our attorneys for legal assistance as soon as possible.
The lawyers of Carey, Danis & Lowe are experienced in helping people who have been hurt as a result of the negligence of another. We will seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wages, pain and suffering, disability and other damages. We also represent family members in wrongful death cases.