Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plea Reached In Triple Fatality In Harford County, Maryland

More facts have come to light in a triple fatality accident that occurred in Harford County, Maryland, involving a drunk driver, which we blogged on a little over a year ago. In the blog, we questioned what steps could be taken to avoid this tragic accident. Naturally, the most logical would have been to take away the drunk driver's keys. Or in this particular case, stop serving the individual more alcohol and ensure that he does not get behind a wheel of a motor vehicle.

Travis Nelson Gray of Darlington entered a plea of guilty to three charges of negligent homicide while under the influence before his trial was scheduled to start in the Circuit Court for Harford County. On November 14, 2009, Gray was operating his 2002 Ford F250 north on Route 543 when he crossed into the lane for southbound traffic and collided head-on with a 1998 Ford F150 truck. Two of the occupants of the pickup truck, James Bielanski and his wife, Pamela Bielanski of Street, Maryland were pronounced dead on the scene. The other passenger, William Arbogast also of Street, Maryland was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma and died the next day.

Deputy State's Attorney H. Scott Lewis stated during the plea hearing that Gray's eyes were bloodshot at the scene and he stated that he had 3 or 4 beers, but refused to say where. Later police obtained Gray's bar tab from the Old School Tavern in Dublin, Maryland, which in effect resulted in Gray admitting that he had consumed alcoholic beverages at the tavern before the accident. The Maryland legal blood alcohol limit is .08. At the time of the accident Gray's blood alcohol limit was .27.

Thus, in going to back to imposing tougher laws and harsher sentences, should Old School Tavern be responsible to the victims in this fatal accident? Should a reasonable person be able to tell when an individual has had to much to drink? Interestingly enough, last June, the Harford County Liquor Board fined the tavern $6,000.00 and issued two seven day suspensions for three violations that occurred the same morning as the triple-fatal accident. However, this does not answer the question whether they too should be jointly liable for the wrongful deaths of these three victims.

If you, a family member, or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving drunk drivers or you would like more information on car accidents, please visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshureaccidentlawyers.com.

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