In a Yellowstone County courtroom recently, the children of an elderly couple killed by a drunk driver spoke poignantly about what it was like to lose their parents. The couple's son spoke of his father asking repeatedly for his wife in the intensive care unit. When he was told that she had died in the accident, he became silent. He died three months later, without ever leaving the hospital. A daughter spoke of her parents as good people who deserved justice. The judge sentenced the driver, a 54-year-old Broadview woman, to prison.
The fatal car accident happened in September of 2011. The Broadview woman was intoxicated and driving northbound on Highway 3 when she was involved in a head-on collision with the elderly couple's van. The impact turned the van sideways in the road, and another vehicle crashed into its driver's side.
Those who have lost a loved one to a drunk driver know what it is like to want justice to be done. The criminal law system does its part by punishing severely anyone who injures or kills others in a drunk driving accident.
Justice can also be served through the civil law system. Family members of those who are killed by a drunk driver have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against that driver. They are entitled to recover damages for loss of support and loss of companionship, as well as medical and funeral expenses. Monetary damages won't take the pain or the grief away, but they can help compensate for the financial aspect of the family's loss.
Source: KRTV.com, "Woman sentenced in Billings for DUI crash that killed 2 people," Angela Douglas, June 13, 2013