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Reckless drivers not always held accountable

For those Hawaii families who have lost a loved one in a car crash, the road to normalcy can be a long one. In some ways, life will never go back to being the same. Even accidents that leave minor injuries can have lasting effects, and many who are involved in such an incident will remember the event for the rest of their lives. When reckless drivers cause automotive collisions, the effects can ripple out for many years.

Unfortunately, not all reckless drivers are held accountable for the pain, suffering and expense that their choices cause. Even those who are sentenced for their crimes often receive very little punishment in exchange for the harm they caused. An example lies in the recent sentencing of a man who led police on a chase before crashing into another vehicle and carjacking yet another car.

The 33-year-old man behind this chaos has a long criminal history. In this particular incident, his actions led to charges of terroristic threatening, felony assault, vehicle theft, carjacking, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The man's attorney argued that he has mental problems, and that his actions were based on a fear that the police were trying to kill him. After pleading guilty to those charges, he was sentenced to just five years in prison for those charges, and given another five years for violating the terms of his probation.

For the individuals involved in this apparent crime spree, that sentence may seem like a mere slap on the wrist considering the damage caused by these types of reckless drivers. It is not known whether those involved in the wreck were seriously injured, or how well they have been able to recover from their injuries. When an individual makes the decision to act in such a  manner, the result is often a personal injury suit, which gives Hawaii victims a chance to recover some of the financial damage that follows an auto accident.

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, "Big Island man sentenced for carjacking, assault", Oct. 17, 2014

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