In a horrific accident in Harwich recently two vehicles, driven by teenage drivers were racing along Route 6. The teenagers were local high school graduates. 18-year-old Michael Lawrence of Osterville was pronounced dead after a single car accident. He was alone in the vehicle and didn’t even live long enough to make it to a hospital. A graduate of Barnstable High School, Mr. Lawrence was travelling east at the time of the collision.
Mr. Lawrence was driving a truck, or “sport utility vehicle” which rolled over and struck a tree “crushing the passenger compartment” of the vehicle. Sport utility vehicles are known to rollover when turned too quickly at a high rate of speed.
Criminal Violation for Racing Motor Vehicle
The driver of the other vehicle, 18-year-old Adrian Sterling, of Hyannis, was issued a criminal complaint for racing, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and speeding. It is against Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 17B to race a motor vehicle on the public roads. The law does not even require proof of an agreed upon race. The penalty for conviction is up to two and one half years in jail, fines, and loss of license for 30 days for a first offense, 180 days for a subsequent offense.
The criminal penalties for operators of a junior license or learner’s permit are more severe. They include fines and loss of license for up to a year for the first offense. They will also have to take the “road rage” program.
Wrongful Death and Motor Vehicle Racing
Who could the family of Mr. Lawrence sue for their loss? We don’t have all the facts, but in a single car accident there are substantial hurdles to overcome if they were to pursue a case against Mr. Sterling. The Lawrence family’s case rests on the outcome of the Sterling criminal case, and Mr. Sterling’s testimony after that criminal matter. There may also be witnesses. The police were looking for a third vehicle. Perhaps the testimony will be that the vehicles were not racing and that the Mr. Sterling, somehow, operated his vehicle negligently resulting in the single car collision. It was a dangerous section of Route 6, according to the police.
Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
If you or a loved one is the victim of a serious personal injury or wrongful death as a result of a motor vehicle collision, contact an experienced motor vehicle attorney. In a case like Mr. Lawrence’s family has, you would need someone to guide you through the system. There is the criminal prosecution of Mr. Sterling in which an aggressive and effective personal injury attorney would monitor, aid in the prosecution if necessary, and use as a guide for the civil case in which there are injuries or a wrongful death.
Attorney Neil Burns has been representing victims of serious personal injury cases since 1985. He has the experience. He is aggressive. He will seek justice for your and your family. Call 617-227-7423 for a free consultation.