An Albuquerque driver who allegedly ran a red light and killed a bicyclist on his way home from work earlier this year was recently charged with misdemeanor careless driving. According to Albuquerque police, 58-year-old Carol Svinarich failed to stop at a red light while headed west through the intersection of Academy Parkway NE and Osuna on January 10th. Her sport utility vehicle struck 55-year-old Scott Dwane Lane’s bicycle as he rode through the intersection. Lane, a vice president at Sun Country Industries and father of four, was reportedly thrown 30 feet into the air on impact. Following the accident, Lane was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital where he died.
Svinarich initially claimed the light was green when she went through the intersection. Later, she told police officers the sun was in her eyes and admitted the light may have been yellow when she struck Lane. At least three witnesses, including one who called emergency responders immediately following the accident, told Albuquerque police officers the bicyclist entered the intersection with a green light while Svinarich ignored a red traffic signal. According to Albuquerque police, alcohol was not a suspected factor in the crash and the collision was caused by driver inattention. If convicted, Svinarich will face a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $300.
In New Mexico, the criminal penalty for careless driving is the same regardless of whether it results in injury or death. State Representative Rick Miera is currently supporting a bill that would increase the careless driving penalty to a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Miera said he believes state law should create stiffer penalties for careless drivers who seriously injure or kill another person.
Whether in your vehicle, riding your bicycle, or merely walking down the street, an unexpected collision with an inattentive driver can occur at any time. The injuries that result from an automobile collision are often disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. If you lost a loved one in a tragic crash, you may have a New Mexico wrongful death claim against the person who caused the accident. After any car crash, it is a good idea to contact a knowledgeable New Mexico car accident lawyer as soon as you are able.
If you or your family member was injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, contact the Fine Law Firm. Our hardworking Albuquerque bike and pedestrian accident attorneys are available to assist you with obtaining the compensation you deserve following a crash. The Fine Law Firm represents clients in state and federal court throughout New Mexico. Our dedicated attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients who were injured due to someone else’s negligence. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact the Fine Law Firm through our website or call us today at (505) 889-3463.
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How Will Federal Gun Policy Impact New Mexico’s Medical Marijuana Policy, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 27, 2011
Fatal collision – gunfire, wrongful death and New Mexico bodily injuries, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 9, 2011
Business exec, dad killed in bike crash, by Nancy Laflin, krqe.com
UPDATED: Driver Charged in Fatal Bike Accident, Albuquerque Journal