Driver Tries to Claim He Was a Witness in a Fatal Car Accident in Brooklyn
From the New York Daily News comes a story that shows the lengths some drivers will go to in order to avoid taking responsible for the accidents they cause. According to the report, a man who was driving a van that struck and killed an 82-year-old man in Brooklyn tried to claim that he was actually simply a bystander to the whole event.
According to the family of victim Evaristo Mercado, Mark Smith lied to both police and the victim at the scene of the accident, pretending that the real culprit had fled the scene after the collision. Mr. Smith called 911 and reported that a black car had struck the victim, not the white van that Mr. Smith had been driving.
Mr. Mercado was struck in Williamsburg while crossing Maujer Street at Bushwick Avenue. He was in the crosswalk when Mr. Smith made a left-hand turn and collided with him around 5:40 pm. The older man’s legs were crushed in the auto accident, and he ultimately succumbed to his injuries the next day while in the hospital.
Video Evidence Contradicts Story
Smith, who works odd jobs out of his van, had told police that a black car was involved in the accident. However, Mercado’s family members claim to have seen video of the accident that shows the white van struck their loved one. Also, Smith finally admitted to police that he was the one who struck Mercado in the intersection.
Smith, who has 40 prior arrests, is another questionable driver out on New York City’s roads. He did not even have a New York driver’s license at the time of the crash; instead, he was using a Virginia one.
His punishment so far appears to be light. Prosecutors arraigned him for only two charges—failure to exercise due caution, which is only a violation, and failure to yield to a pedestrian, which is a misdemeanor. The judge suspended Mr. Smith’s license which, given his prior record, was long overdue. However, he was also released on $5,000 bail awaiting trial.
A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Could Provide Comfort
It’s unclear whether the deceased’s family has decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but this is often an option in New York. A wrongful death suit is not a criminal action, so the defendant does not get sent to jail.
However, family members can receive compensation to cover their economic losses, as well as the loss of their loved one’s care and companionship. Although no money makes up for a family member’s death, it is a measure of justice to have a court hold the defendant responsible for the accident.
Contact Us As Soon as Possible
The Brooklyn car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates have brought many wrongful death lawsuits, and we have an impressive track record of results obtained on behalf of accident victims and their families. If you want to talk about your case, we can offer a sympathetic ear. Please call 718-407-4123 or send us an online message if that is more convenient. Our consultations are free and confidential.