Police arrested and charged William H. Downing with DWI after his pickup truck struck a 5-year-old boy riding a bicycle in Riverhead on Saturday, August 4. The boy was seriously injured in the accident. Downing was driving a 2003 Cadillac Escalade pickup truck and attempting to make a left turn onto Doris Avenue from Lewis Street at about 6:40 p.m. when he struck the boy riding his bicycle at the intersection.
The unidentified boy suffered a serious head injury in the accident.
Riverhead police detectives and the NY State Police accident reconstruction unit are currently investigating this accident.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville has shared commentary with The Legal Herald on liability in drunk driving accidents in the past. Below he offers his comments on situations similar to this one:
When an innocent person gets hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim and their family are often curious about legal recourse. In many cases, victims have to turn to the civil court system and file personal injury lawsuits to get the financial compensation they deserve. In New York and many other states, victims of drunk drivers may have the opportunity to recover financial compensation both from the driver and, in some cases, the bar or another alcohol-serving establishment that continued to give them alcohol after they had become visibly drunk. Serving someone past the point of “visible intoxication” is illegal in New York, and when someone who has been illegally served goes on to cause a drunk driving accident, the business that served them can be sued by victims who were injured in the accident.