Atlanta, Ga. - According to reports from earlier today, a pedestrian died after being hit by a MARTA bus.
Investigators and officers have stated that the man was hit while walking in a crosswalk near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. They have reported that criminal charges are pending against the MARTA bus driver.
As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of vehicular homicide as this is one of the charges most likely faced by the bus driver.
Under Georgia Law, one of the most severe charges anyone can face is vehicular homicide. The degrees of vehicular homicide are laid out in O.C.G.A. §40-6-393. Vehicular homicide in the first degree will be charged with a person, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person by either unlawfully passing a school bus, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident. Vehicular homicide is in the second degree when it occurs due to a violation of any statute other than the ones specifically mention for vehicular homicide in the first degree.
In Georgia, vehicular homicide can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Vehicular homicide is considered a misdemeanor when death occurs because of a violation of a basic traffic law such as speeding, following too closely, or failure to maintain lane. Conviction of a misdemeanor vehicular homicide can result in up to one year in jail. However, vehicular homicide is considered a felony when death occurs as the result of a D.U.I. or reckless driving. If convicted, a felony vehicular homicide may lead to a 15 years prison sentence.
Whether or not the driver acted maliciously during the commission of the crime is irrelevant. The only thing a judge will consider is whether the driver violated traffic laws.