A Puyallup teen faces upgraded charges of vehicular homicide after the bicycle accident victim that she hit on November 24 died on December 9th of the injuries he sustained in the accident.
Kallie James had been charged with vehicular assault after the accident in which she ran a stop sign and struck Eric Renz, 66 of Puyallup, who was riding his bicycle near the Washington State Fair Grounds.
Renz was hospitalized after the accident but was in a coma and never regained consciousnesses before he died.
James allegedly was high on drugs and marijuana at the time of the accident.
Vehicular homicide, Washington Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person succumbs to injuries suffered in an automobile accident within three years of the incident. Vehicular homicide can be charged if the at-fault driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with reckless disregard to the safety of others.
Those found guilty of vehicular homicide face a sentencing range of between 78-102 months.
Washington Victims of Impaired Driving
Impaired driving is a still a significant problem in the nation and in the state of Washington even though numbers have been declining. Every year, approximately 700 people in the state are killed in motor vehicle accidents and about half of these deaths could have been prevented because the driver was impaired by alcohol and or drugs.
Drugs and alcohol impair a driver's judgment along with their coordination, reaction time and vision.
Criminal versus civil claims
While the state files charges against a drunk driver, victims and their families may file a lawsuit claiming damages in civil court. A conviction of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault is prima facie evidence of reckless behavior and supports a civil claim. The auto accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group can work to maximize the civil judgment.