According to media reports, a 31-year-old driver who pled guilty to charges of vehicular assault and homicide was sentenced to two decades behind bars. Montana residents may find it interesting to learn that the driver admitted to causing a head-on collision with his car while driving under the influence. Tragically, the accident not only killed the passenger in his car, but also seriously injured the 15-year-old driver of the other car.

The tragic car accident occurred on Highway 310 when the car the 31-year-old was driving drifted into on-coming traffic in the other lane. According to an investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol, rather than stepping on the brakes, the man continued to speed ahead and crashed head-on into a Chevy being driven by a 15-year-old. The passenger in 31-year-old’s vehicle suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The young 15-year-old teen suffered serious injuries. Officers at the scene of the accident indicated they smelled alcohol on the 31-year-old’s breath, and a subsequent blood alcohol test revealed his BAC to be more than three times the legal limit of 0.08%.

Every driver on the road has a duty to observe all traffic laws, and they must exercise reasonable caution when sharing the road with other motorists. Despite the harshness of current laws, such tragic accidents routinely happen. It is difficult to imagine what the families of those impacted by such tragic accidents are going through. Even though a life lost cannot be brought back, a negligent driver can be held responsible for his or her actions. In fact, in this particular accident, the 31-year-old was ordered by the courts to pay restitution to the 15-year-old for his medical bills.

Anyone who has lost a loved one or has suffered a serious injury in a car accident may want to contact a personal injury law firm to discuss their legal options. Holding accountable a negligent driver who has caused pain and suffering to another may give a victim and his or her family a sense of justice.

Source: Billings Gazette, “Belfry man gets 20 years for fatal DUI crash,” Chris Cioffi, Jan. 8, 2014