On Friday, March 7th 2014, 21-year-old Lenoy Rivera was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being convicted of vehicular homicide in the death of 52-year-old veterinarian, Robert Niedbalec. The unfortunate accident took place back on February 13th 2011, when Rivera had been drag racing alongside another vehicle.
The Ford 500 Rivera was driving at the time had gotten up to 92 mph in a 50 mph zone, when he suddenly lost control and struck Niedbalec, who had been riding his bicycle along the side of the road. Officers who responded to the accident originally thought that Rivera's passenger, 20-year-old Christina Perenzuela was the driver, but witness statements put Rivera in the driver's seat. While Rivera expressed true remorse for his actions and begged Niedbalec's family for forgiveness, reports showed that he had been driving without a license at the time of the accident and had 3 prior citations for the same type of infraction.
As a result of his actions and his past driving history, the judge sentenced Rivera to 13 years in prison with 2 additional years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,600 to his victim's family for the purpose of covering funeral costs. He received a lifetime revocation of all driving privileges as well. Rivera did receive credit for the 2 years and 4 months served while his court case was ongoing.
One of the most painful aspects of any accident, particularly an accident which has resulted in a wrongful death, is that most of these types of accidents are entirely preventable. Had the driver been alert, followed the rules of the road, not engaged in illegal activity or simply paid attention to his or her surroundings, the accident would likely never have taken place. It is the individuals whose negligence, carelessness or disregard for the safety of others results in serious injury or death, who must be held legally and financially responsible for their actions.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligent actions, our firm may be able to help you prove liability so that you can seek justice and fair compensation for your loss. The lawyers at our firm have close to 30 years of legal experience between them. We are trained negotiators and experienced litigators who stop at nothing to improve our clients' chances of obtaining the most optimal results for their case. To find out if you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit or claim, contact Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law right away so you can avail yourself of a free consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer.