Missouri man sentenced for son's death in car accident

Ninety miles east of Joplin, a Missouri man was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison. The Sparta resident pleaded guilty to charges involving the death of his three-year-old son and injuries to four other people in a car accident.

The 34-year-old was behind the wheel of a Toyota when the car crossed the highway's center line and was hit by a Ford Explorer. A car then smashed into the Explorer.

The man's young son was in the back seat of the Toyota; the boy's mother was in the front seat.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer was on the scene of the crash just eight minutes after the collisions took place. The officer wrote in his report that he "detected a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from (the father). I also noticed that his speech was slurred and he spoke slow."

The man refused to perform a field sobriety test and later, at a Springfield hospital, he refused to submit a blood sample to be tested for the presence of alcohol.

He told the officer that he had consumed a couple of beers with his lunch.

Approximately two and a half hours after the crashes, the trooper seized a sample of the man's blood. The blood alcohol content was at that time 0.067 percent.

However, a sample the hospital had drawn two hours earlier showed a blood alcohol level of 0.102 percent, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The man is already serving a four-year sentence for violating a probation order from a nonpayment of child support conviction.

This tragedy obviously can't be undone. The damage the man has caused to his own family is forever.

However, in many cases, accident injury victims are left to deal with medical bills and lost wages on their own. Many of those victims insist that the person who did the damage should bear the burden of those bills.

An experienced personal injury attorney not only understands the law, but knows how it can be applied to hold those responsible for damage fully accountable.

Source: KSDK, "Missouri father gets prison terms for crash that killed son," Rance Burger, Jan. 7, 2013

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