09/14/2010 // New York, NY, US // Jonathan C. Reiter // Jonathan C. Reiter- New York City automobile accident attorney
Brooklyn, NY—A former officer from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) plead guilty on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 to second-degree vehicular manslaughter. The officer also admitted he was intoxicated when he violently hit a female pedestrian in Brooklyn in 2009. The woman was sadly killed in the traffic collision. The officer, who faced up to seven years in jail for the offense, is expected to serve nine months in prison. After eight years as an officer with the NYPD, defendant Andrew Kelly also resigned from the department, according to information provided by the New York Times and previous information provided by New York City accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter.
On September 27, 2009, Mr. Kelly was under the influence and driving his SUV in the Mill Basin neighborhood. Around 1 a.m., he fatally struck 32-year-old Vionique Valnord-Kassime as she tried to hail a cab. Though Andrew Kelly initially refused to submit to a blood test, it was performed under a subpoena seven hours after the fatal traffic crash. The blood test was conducted after the NYPD suspected fellow officers helped cover-up his intoxication, however it came up negative. Nonetheless, Mr. Kelly went on to admit he was drunk when he hit and killed Valnord-Kassime with his sport utility vehicle. Mr. Kelly is expected to be sentenced to five years probation. His license will also be suspended for a year and he will be required to undergo an alcohol treatment program and install an ignition lock on his vehicle.
For the victim’s distraught family, the fact that he took responsibility was satisfying enough. “My daughter’s memory is still in my head… All I needed was for him to take responsibility, and he took responsibility,” said Rev. Varius Valnord, Ms. Valnord-Kassime’s father. The family reportedly plans to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the city and NYPD.
New York City automobile accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter says people who drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs put all other drivers’ and passengers’ lives at risk. Families are left with an irreplaceable loss at the hands of someone else’s complete disregard for the safety of others. When someone is killed because of a driver’s reckless and negligent actions, the driver can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by the automobile accident. Families may be able to recover compensation for emotional anguish, medical care, past and future lost wages and possibly punitive damages, which are aimed to punish and deter this type of reckless conduct. A consultation with a qualified Brooklyn injury lawyer can answer your questions, review your case, and protect your legal rights.
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