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Driver involved in fatal motorcycle accident pleads guilty

Negligent manslaughter refers to a crime which ends a victim's life due to another person's extremely risky and unreasonable behavior. This is what a Carroll Country, Maryland, driver recently pled guilty to after killing a motorcyclist last summer. While manslaughter charges are generally less serious than murder indictments, a conviction could still put the driver behind bars for a long time.

The motorcycle accident that killed a 68-year-old Pennsylvania traveler occurred on US Highway 40, where the accused driver crashed into the cycle with her Honda Civic. The motorcycle was stopped at a red light when it was struck by the defendant's car.

The collision threw the victim onto the car's hood, while the motorcycle's other passenger-and husband of the victim-was tossed to the ground. Police report that the victim was transported to a local hospital, but her fractured ribs and internal injuries proved too severe. Hospital records state that the Pennsylvania woman died from blood loss and cardiopulmonary arrest.

While the exact cause of the accident remains unclear, police officers have testified that the defendant's blood-alcohol level at the time of the collision was 0.17 percent. The legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.08 percent, so the defendant's level of intoxication far exceeded legal standards.

The defendant was previously charged with another case of attempted DUI and negligent driving during September 2008. In that instance, she pleaded not guilty and was only assigned probation. After this new crime, the victim's attorney has stated that they are hoping for a 5-year jail sentence.

Source: Baltimore Sun. "Carroll County woman pleads guilty to negligent manslaughter." Don Markus, 11 February 2011.

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