During a regular shift in January 2017, a Gwinnett County police officer responded to a car crash call around 9:00 p.m. For what remains undisclosed reasons, the young officer raced to the scene at 97 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the officer never made it to the site of the call.

The officer, driving at a speed nearly 60 miles per hour greater than the speed limit, attempted to pass another car, swerved to avoid a near collision with that vehicle and struck two pedestrians on the sidewalk. One of the two died of the injuries suffered in the collision. The very next day, the police department fired the officer for a violation of police policy.

A spokesman for the department indicated that the case would be treated just like any other in which the facts and evidence indicated a crime had been committed. The officer was initially charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, which is a felony. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to second-degree vehicular homicide and will serve a sentence of five years. However, six months will be served in prison and the balance of the time will be served as probation.

Not all motor vehicle accidents involve incidents of criminal activity. In fact, civil liability for personal injury claims is most often the issue between the parties. When fault is uncertain, insurance companies often attempt to settle the matter. It may be necessary to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer to act as an advocate to gain full compensation for all damages sustained by the injured party.