Shawn Wayne Gibson, 37, has been ordered by an Cecil County Judge to serve a nine-year prison term (three of those years have been suspended). He will also serve three years of supervised probation. Gibson is being held responsible for striking teenager Christopher Donovan Snyder with his 1996 Nissan Quest last September, when his van strayed off the westbound lane of Route 40 and hit the 16-year-old from behind. The teenager was killed instantly. Gibson also just barely missed Tony Rojas, Gibson’s best friend.
According to police, Gibson left the scene of the car accident. There was also no evidence that he attempted to stop and avoid Snyder, who was 12-15 feet away from the roadway. Gibson had initially tried to blame someone else for committing the hit-and-run, saying strangers had carjacked his van and killed Snyder. Empty and full beer cans were found in the “extensively damaged” van.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge O. Robert Lidums said “Although this was an accident, in many ways it was more than an accident. By virtue of (Gibson’s) history, he’s in a position to recognize that this accident could have been prevented.” Gibson already had been involved in numerous traffic and drug-related cases prior to the deadly accident.
Gibson has now accepted full responsibility for his role in the fatal accident. He pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you stop your vehicle, assist anyone who has been injured, contact the police if someone has been hurt or there has been extensive damage to one of the vehicles, and exchange contact, vehicle, and insurance information with the other drivers. You will also want to document the details of the accident, the time the accident occurred, road conditions, weather conditions, and other specifics.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. A good personal injury lawyer can assess the extent of your injuries and evaluate how much recovery you need and deserve so that your medical costs are paid for by the other party and you are compensated for your pain, suffering, and any lost wages. There also may be punitive damages, if the other party acted intentionally to cause your accident and injuries.
Lebowitz and Mzhen is a personal injury law firm that has helped many clients in the Maryland and Washington D.C. areas obtain the maximum recovery possible for their personal injury claims. Your first consultation with us is free, so call us today at 1.888.311.4878.
Careless Driver Gets Six Years for Killing Teen, Cecil Whig, April 9, 2007
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