After a two month investigation, it has been decided that a teenager is responsible for a fatal crash in Aurora. The teenager will be charged with two counts of careless driving causing death and one count of driving without a driver’s license.
The teenager was driving near I-225 and 17th, without a license, when he ran a red light while speeding, hitting an SUV carrying a three month old girl and her grandparents. The three month old girl and her grandfather did not survive the crash. Initially, the teenager told authorities that he had a green light. There were no witnesses to the accident, so authorities had to attempt to recreate information using the “black box” from the vehicle. Information obtained from the black box provided sufficient evidence to disprove the teenager’s story.
The teenager is facing three misdemeanor level charges; two counts of careless driving causing death and one count of driving without a valid driver’s license. Careless driving causing death and driving without a valid driver’s license are punishable by jail time. The teenager may be fortunate that law enforcement and/or the prosecution did not decide his driving was reckless rather than simply careless. Had it been determined that the teenager was driving recklessly, he would likely be facing multiple felonies rather than misdemeanors. Had the teenager been driving recklessly, he would be facing vehicular homicide and/or vehicular assault charges, which are punishable by prison time.
Under the law, “careless” is defined as driving without due regard for the width, grade, curves and other attendant circumstances. “Reckless” is a higher standard, defined as a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.