Former NBA star Mookie Blaylock has been released from an Atlanta hospital after a violent accident claimed the life of one person and left two others injured. According to a number media accounts, Blaylock allegedly lost control of his SUV and crashed headlong into an oncoming van.
The crash killed Monica Murphy, a passenger in the van, while her husband, Frankie, suffered a broken ankle. Preliminary toxicology reports indicate that Blaylock had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. The attorney general for Clayton County is expected to bring second degree vehicular homicide charges stemming from the accident.
In the meantime, Blaylock has reportedly hired noted criminal defense attorneys Ed Garland and Don Samuel in anticipation of a criminal indictment. Garland and Samuel are best known for defending former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis after an altercation in the hours after Super Bowl XXXIV. They have also defended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisbeger against sexual assault charges.
This news is important because a criminal conviction can serve as the impetus for a civil suit. In this case, a wrongful death suit would be the civil action taken. Essentially, a conviction serves as evidentiary proof that the offending driver breached the duty of reasonable care owed to other drivers, and that such a breach led to the accident and subsequent injuries.
Of course, the absence of a criminal conviction does not prevent an injured party from seeking civil remedies. Nevertheless, it serves as an important step in the development of a personal injury case.
Source: USA Today.com, Mookie Blaylock hires top lawyers for vehicular homicide case, June 4, 2013