Injured Maryland Father Mourns the Deaths of his Wife and Four Children in Drunk Driving Accident

Daniel Griffin Jr. may be physically recovering from the injuries that he sustained in a deadly car crash involving a drunk driver in Ohio on December 30, but his life will never be the same.

Griffin lost his wife 36-year-old wife Bethany and four of his children, Jordan Griffin, 10, Vadie Griffin, 8 weeks, Haley Burkman, 10, and Lacie Burkman, 7 in the fatal crash. Two of Daniel’s other children, Sidney Griffin, and Beau Burkman, both age 8, were taken to St. Vincent Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio and later released.

Griffin and his family are from Parkville, Maryland. They were driving home after a holiday trip to Michigan when the minivan they were riding in was hit by a pickup truck driving the wrong way on Interstate 280.

The truck driver, 24-year-old Michael P. Gagnon, has been indicted on two counts of vehicular homicide and five counts of aggravated vehicular assault charges. Ohio police say that he blood-alcohol level was three times above the legal limit.

If convicted, Gagnon faces up to 50 years in prison.

Drunk driving is reckless, negligent, and dangerous behavior that can lead to serious injuries and the deaths of friends, family members, and strangers.

When a drunk driver injures or kills another person in a motor vehicle accident, not only will he or she face criminal charges, but the injured party or the family of the deceased can sue the driver for personal injury or wrongful death.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Obviously, if you are going to drink alcohol, the best way to avoid driving drunk is to not drive at all. In the event that driving is unavoidable, consider the following:

• Know your drinking limit.
• Accompany your drinking with food.
• Pace yourself.

• Avoid drinking anything if you are on any type of medication.

If your attempt to drink moderately fails, or when in doubt, consider taking a cab or asking someone else to drive you home.

Hundreds mourn Parkville family killed in crash, Baltimore Sun, January 11, 2008
Mich. man indicted in crash that killed 5, Baltimore Sun, January 11, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Impaired Driving, CDC

Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention

In Maryland and Washington D.C., the car accident law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen has helped many car accident survivors and their families recover compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and losses. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today and ask for your free consultation.

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