65-year-old Bertha Gawens was a crossing guard in the small northern New York town of Irondequoit back in 1982. She loved her job and felt a sense of satisfaction and reward as she safely brought young children from one side of a busy intersection to the other. One chilly April afternoon, however, a drunk driver sped past the intersection stop-sign and was only moments from striking a group of second grade students. Without hesitation, Bertha threw herself in front of the vehicle, putting herself between the brown Mercury and two young girls. The force threw her over the vehicle and onto the ground, leaving her in a coma that lasted more than 5 years. Unfortunately, Bertha never woke up from that coma. The two young girls, aged 6 and 7 at the time, survived with minor injuries because of the brave actions by Bertha that day.
More than 30 years after the car accident, the local paper celebrated the amazing story of the crossing guard who sacrificed her own life to save the lives of two young girls. They are now in their late 30’s and living happy lives with children of their own. The drunk driver who struck Bertha had allegedly been drinking at a local bar that morning and ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. He only served one year in jail.
Drunk drivers are a serious hazard on the road. They can cause severe injuries to themselves, pedestrians, or other drivers, or even be the cause of a wrongful death. A drunk driver can be held criminally accountable for the injuries they cause, in addition to paying monetary damages to their victims. Even a minor car collision can result in serious injury or even death. While the average driver is sometimes at risk, intoxicated drivers pose a tremendous safety risk to not only themselves, but every other person on the road.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Call our expert Massachusetts drunk driving lawyers at (617) 787-3700, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.