Trial in Car Accident That Killed a Family of Three

Posted By: SSF Law Firm
Posted In:Car Accident
Posted On: March 09 , 2019

Family members of David Bianco, Kaylie Meininger, and their daughter Annika may finally get some closure after last week’s trial against defendant Demetrius Coleman for the car accident that he caused in 2016 while being chased by a police officer.

Coleman was charged with almost two dozen crimes including three counts of criminal homicide stemming from the crash that instantly killed the three victims on their way to a family Thanksgiving dinner.

Car accidents with tragic consequences are familiar to Pittsburgh car accident attorneys who are aggressive advocates for car accident victims and their families who have sustained serious injuries or death caused by someone else’s fault. While these cases are very difficult and emotional, successful outcomes often bring much-needed closure and financial recovery for victims and their family members.

Events leading up to the accident

Prior to the accident, Coleman was pulled over by the police for making an illegal turn. When the police officer ran Coleman’s information he discovered that Coleman had an outstanding drug warrant for his arrest and called for police backup. As back up arrived, Coleman fled the scene in his vehicle and after less than one minute, he t-boned the family of three, killing them instantly.

Questionable police procedures

Coleman was the obvious cause of the accident that took three innocent lives, but an Allegheny County District Attorney questioned police training and procedures related to this accident. According to DA Stephen Zappala Jr., a police chase should only be initiated when a deadly felony, hostage situation, or kidnapping is involved. He said in this situation, a police chase should not have been initiated because Coleman was wanted on a non-violent drug warrant.

He also questioned why the officer who pulled Coleman over for the illegal turn did not immediately secure Coleman upon learning that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He also suggested that every police car should be equipped with a stop stick for officers to place by the wheel of vehicles that they pull over. Should the vehicle decide to flee the scene, the stop stick would flatten one of the tires.

Wrongful death and survival actions

In fatal car accident cases, the person who caused the accident may sometimes be criminally charged and a criminal conviction may punish the defendant, but it does not compensate the surviving family members who have tragically lost their loved ones. Depending on the circumstances of the case, sometimes surviving family members and the decedent’s estate may be compensated for accident fatalities.

When close family members lose a loved one, they may sometimes be permitted to recover compensation for losing their loved one under a wrongful death claim. Additionally, a survival action may sometimes be appropriate to compensate for the deceased’s estate for injuries and damages that the deceased sustained prior to his or her death.

If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else’s fault, contact a Pittsburgh car accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman for a free consultation.

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