An allegedly intoxicated driver who may have been traveling as fast as 120 mph collided with a stalled car, causing a bystander to fall to her death from an elevated portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Aissatou Diallo was on her way home from a family wedding when she got a flat tire. She pulled over to the side of the road and stood next to her vehicle, only to be struck by another vehicle. The driver of the other car, a 2011 BMW, was reportedly a 43-year-old man.
Abdoulaye Diallo, a 16-year-old passenger in the stalled car, said the other vehicle was travelling at least 120 mph when it smashed into a Toyota Rav4 and a Chevrolet. The force of the impact sent Aissatou Diallo tumbling over the side of the BQE and down onto Meeker Avenue.
Witnesses reported seeing significant trauma injuries and massive amounts of blood. The victim was later pronounced dead at the scene. Another witness – 65-year-old Joseph Bulger – said he heard “a woman screaming her bloody mind out” and someone else scream, “That’s my mother!”
Nine other people, including the tortfeasor (negligent driver), were injured in the auto accident.
Alcohol-Involved Crashes in New York
Drinking and driving is a factor in about one-third of the fatal car crashes in New York. When these cases go to criminal court, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was both driving the car and intoxicated at the moment of the crash. But in civil court, the plaintiff must typically only establish that the tortfeasor was in the car at the time and had probably been drinking within the previous few hours.
In negligence cases, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence, which means “more likely than not.” So, if the tortfeasor was in the car, it is more likely than not that the tortfeasor was driving, even if there was more than one occupant of the vehicle. Similarly, if the tortfeasor had been drinking or had been someplace where alcohol was available, it is more likely than not that the tortfeasor was alcohol-impaired.
Victims who were seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes are typically entitled to compensation for both economic damages, such as lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as loss of enjoyment in life. Punitive damages are also possible, in some instances.
Despite a decades-long crackdown by law enforcement, dangerous drunk drivers still roam the streets of New York. For a free consultation with experienced Manhattan personal injury lawyers, contact the Proner and Proner legal office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in car crash cases.