Raquel Nelson will receive a second chance to be acquitted of charges against her in a jaywalking accident that led to the death of her son. Nelson was originally found guilty by a grand jury and sentenced to a year of probation and 40 hours of community service. She requested for the judge to drop all of the charges against her, but the judge denied her request. Instead, he dropped the charge of reckless conduct and gave her the option to go to a retrial on the charges of jaywalking and vehicular homicide. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nelson took the offer and is currently on trial, where she could either be acquitted of the charges or face up to three years in jail.
In an accident that occurred in April 2010, the 30-year-old Nelson got off a bus with her daughter and 4-year-old son and started to walk across the street with other bus passengers. Her son, A.J. Newman, then let go of her hand. Nelson ran into the street to grab him, and all three members of the family were hit by a van driven by Jerry Lee Guy. He did not stop and fled the scene of the crash, according to reports. When questioned later, Guy admitted to having a “little” alcohol before the crash, that he was on pain medication, and that he was partially blind in one eye. Additionally, Guy had reportedly been to jail twice before for hit-and-runs. Despite these circumstances, Guy pleaded guilty and served only a six-month prison sentence.
According to a report earlier this year by Washington-based Transportation for America (T4A), Georgia is cited as the tenth most dangerous state for pedestrians. Between 2000 and 2009, Georgia’s 1,545 pedestrian fatalities make up 9.8% of the total traffic fatalities in the state. Furthermore, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area holds the distinction as being the eleventh most dangerous metro area in the United States. In this area alone, 798 pedestrians were killed between 2000 and 2009, representing a death rate of 1.4% of all residents walking to work. In fact, Atlanta’s annual pedestrian fatalities actually increased in the last ten years, from a low of 71 in 2000 to a high of 94 in 2004 and a decade finish of 77 annual pedestrian deaths per year.
When an automobile collides with a pedestrian, it is often-times a result of the poor design or the state of streets, roads, and sidewalks, or the carelessness of the driver. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a dedicated Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney to pursue legal recourse. Our team of attorneys can evaluate your claim with a free case review.