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Man responsible for fatal accident sentenced to probation

When people drive recklessly and cause harm to another person, they should be held accountable. A man who killed a six-year-old girl in Queens in a drunk driving accident was recently sentenced, but the family of the little girl believes the sentence isn't enough.

The fatal accident occurred in July. The young girl was chasing after an ice cream truck when the 53-year-old driver struck her. She died from her injuries five days later.

The driver's blood-alcohol level was slightly above the legal limit after the crash. The 53-year-old man pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter last fall. On Jan. 31 he was sentenced to five years probation.

His license has also been suspended. In addition, he must attend an alcohol awareness program and an ignition-locking device to prevent him from driving drunk in the future will also be installed in his vehicle.

Because the man's blood-alcohol level was so close to the legal limit, prosecutors were concerned that a grand jury would reduce the charges. Instead, they offered the man a plea deal.

Relatives of the six-year-old girl who died in the accident feel that the man's sentence is not enough after taking the life of a young girl. The little girl's grandmother pointed out that the girl's mother is left without a daughter while the man responsible for her death gets to go home.

Although the family is not satisfied with the sentence for the criminal charges, they may wish to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the man. Although no amount of money can bring the young girl back, it may provide the family with some sense of justice.

Source: NY Daily News, "'Sorry' is not good enough, says family of 6-year-old girl killed by a DWI driver who's only getting probation for the accident," Thomas Zambito, Feb. 1, 2012

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