Gothamist.com is reporting that a New York City judge has struck down the conviction of a driver who was found guilty of driving with a suspended license earlier this year that arose out of an accident that is claimed to have led to the death of a bicyclist.
The driver, who was parked, is alleged to have opened her car door forcing the young female cyclist to take evasive action which resulted in her being struck and killed by a New York City bus. The driver is then alleged to have left the scene of the accident to go to a party. The Court in throwing out the conviction found that the evidence presented was insufficient to support the conviction.
At first the driver denied causing the accident and her lawyer maintained that she left the scene briefly to pick up a family member and returned later. The District Attorney had wanted to also to charge the driver with the felony of leaving the scene of an accident. That charge was dismissed by the court who told the jurors that would have required that the car had been moving and not parked at the time of the incident.
The victim’s mother was outraged that the court could the throw out the verdict of 12 jurors and that there would not now be any criminal penalty for the death of her daughter. She was particularly upset that the driver left the accident scene. She is reported to be bringing a lawsuit against the driver and New York’s, Mass Transportation Authority for negligence.
A spokesman for Transportation Alternatives commented that it was an outrage that there would be no criminal sanction for the actions that led to the death of this young woman and urged the Mayor of New York to follow the recommendations of the City Council and revisit the manner in which police and courts handle dangerous driving cases.