While the New York State Police continue to investigate whether she was texting while driving, Becky Goodermote, the driver in a car-bicycle crash, has been charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident and driving while ability impaired by drugs. According to the Times Union, Goodermote was remanded to Rensselaer County Jail pending bail.
According to the report, Matthew Ratelle, a cyclist from Petersburg, NY, was riding on the shoulder of the road when he was struck from behind. Police continue to investigate whether the driver was texting at the time of the accident. If cell phone and other records show that she was, she could face additional charges. In New York, Vehicle and Traffic Law 1225-d makes distracted driving, such as texting or checking email, a primary offense meaning a police officer can pull you over for it.
Driving while ability impaired by drugs is a misdemeanor found in New York's drunk driving law (VTL § 1192(4)), and states that "no person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person's ability to operate such a motor vehicle is impaired by the use of a drug as defined in this chapter." At this time there is no indication as to what drug Goodermote is alleged to have been using.
Leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, a class "E" felony, is found in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600, and requires an individual involved in such an accident to provide their identifying information to the police prior to leaving the scene, or reporting the accident as soon as physically possible.
Accidents like this, which result in serious personal injuries, can be the subject of a negligence lawsuit. If a defendant is proven to have violated a criminal law, that violation can sometimes be used against them in a civil suit to prove that they were "negligent per se." This concept is helpful to individuals seriously injured by the negligence of others, and often comes about in car crash lawsuits.
The team of injury attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian represents individuals injured by intoxicated drivers. Our experienced lawyers strive to resolve cases in the manner most favorable to our clients, whether through settlement or taking the case to court. If you have been injured because of the negligence of someone else, contact us today on the web, or call us at 518-463-7784.