An 83-year-old Golden man was sentenced to six years in a halfway house for a motorcycle accident that killed a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy.
The accident happened back in January, on Colorado 93 near West 68th Avenue. According to reports, the reckless driver was going more than 75 mph in a 55 mph zone when he used a passing zone to go around another vehicle.
Witnesses say the man never got back in his lane. He traveled in the wrong direction for 1,500 feet before colliding with the deputy’s motorcycle head on, killing him instantly.
Are Elderly Drivers Dangerous?
The elderly Colorado resident had a history of bad driving habits. Beginning in 1991, the man had four speeding convictions and two rear-end highway accidents on his record. Both rear-end accidents were on Colorado 93, the same highway as the fatal collision.
The reckless driver testified that he had no recollection of the accident:
“What went wrong on that disastrous Sunday morning in January? Did I lose consciousness for a couple of seconds and end up in the wrong lane of traffic? I don’t remember. Did I see a motorcycle come toward me? I did not. There was just this horrendous crash,” he testified.
During the trial, he apologized tearfully for the damage he had caused, saying he understands now that “an old man should hang up keys for the benefit of others.” He has already talked to seniors about the perils of driving past a certain age, emphasizing the danger of slower reaction times and problems with vision and hearing.
Before the sentencing, prosecutors and members of the victim’s family urged the judge to assign jail time, citing his disregard for public safety. Instead, the judge sentenced him to six years at a halfway house, where he will continue educating elderly drivers.
Elderly drivers have their own set of struggles, but they must be willing to adjust to the situation. If they refuse to take the proper precautions, their negligence could have deadly consequences.
This driver had a history of reckless driving habits, and his family asked him to surrender his keys several times before the fatal accident. He had a chance to correct the issue before he hurt someone, but instead he chose to ignore his own weaknesses.
It can be difficult to convict someone of distracted driving in a criminal case, but a civil suit makes it much easier. If you have questions about a fatal motorcycle accident, the experienced attorneys at Metier Law Firm can let you know if a wrongful death is the right choice for you.
[Did You Know: Drivers 85 and older are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than teen drivers.]
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