Three members of a New Jersey family were killed and six others were injured when a suspected drunk driver T-boned their vehicle in Sheldon, NY on May 26. The victims killed in the crash have been identified as 4-year-old Kiara Hernandez; her mother, 32-year-old Mayelin Brito-Castro; and grandmother, 47-year-old Ondina Castro De La Cruz.
According to investigators, the family was traveling west on Route 20A on their way to Niagra Falls when a Dodge Ram collided with their Kia Sedona minivan. The driver of that Dodge Ram, 20-year-old Richard Sawicki, was allegedly drunk and reportedly ran through a stop sign right before the crash.
Two other 4-year-olds were injured in the crash, along with a 10-year-old and 14-year-old. Those children, along with a 26-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man, were all transported to a hospital with injuries of varying severity.
Sawicki was also hospitalized and released. He has been charged with vehicular homicide, DWI, and reckless driving. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 10.
At Banville Law, our car accident lawyers help families affected by drunk driving crashes fight for the answers, financial support, and justice they deserve. Here is some general information regarding the legal options available to victims of being hit by a drunk driver in the state of New York:
In New York, people who have been injured by drunk drivers and the families of those killed by them may have multiple options for legal recourse. Like other types of car accidents, the victims can file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the drunk driver. But in some cases, these victims also may have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against the alcohol vendor who served the drunk driver prior to the crash.
An alcohol vendor (such as a bar or restaurant) can be held liable for alcohol-related injuries caused by a customer if that customer was either under 21 years old or visibly intoxicated when the vendor served them. If either of these circumstances applies, those injured by the intoxicated customer may have grounds for a lawsuit against both the customer and the alcohol vendor for unlawfully serving that customer.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, it’s important to be aware of all of your family’s legal options. You can learn more by speaking with an experienced drunk driving crash victims lawyer in a free consultation.