In our past post about a pedestrian accident, we wrote how a driver in San Francisco hit a person in the crosswalk with his car. The car accident was fatal, and prosecutors found a somewhat unique reason to treat the particular crash more seriously than others. The driver was wearing a medical boot for a stress fracture.
Our previous post posed the question of whether a driver should be able to drive when he doesn't have use of his dominant driving foot. Prosecutors in this case believed that the fatal accident could have been prevented if the driver hadn't been taking the risk of working the pedals with his left foot. The San Francisco Superior Court agreed with that argument.
Yesterday, the court convicted the 60-year-old driver of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Sentencing will take place at a separate hearing later this year, in which the defendant could be required to serve a maximum of one year in jail.
During the trial, the defendant insisted that he was comfortable driving with his left foot and tried to convince the court that the accident was just like any other accident; there was no significant level of negligence involved related to his injury. He testified that his doctor never even told him not to drive while wearing the medical boot.
Those arguments, however, weren't enough to sway the court and take away from the impact that the loss of the 59-year-old pedestrian left within the community. Now that the criminal case is just about over and negligence was confirmed by the court, it's possible that surviving family (if any) could find the confidence to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "San Francisco: Man who drove with cast on foot convicted of vehicular manslaughter in fatal crash," July 19, 2012