Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Feedback: Accident Victim's Family Wants Justice


Last march, Sandra Wilton's daughter, Jennifer Runkles, was killed in a two-car crash.  

Police said the other driver, Donavin-Scott Castro of Watertown, was speeding as he passed two other cars in the town of LeRay, leading to the collision. 

Castro got traffic tickets, but no criminal charges.

"I was in shock. I figured he was going to be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Also, he put his kids in danger," said Wilton.

But the family took a wait-and-see approach.

"We waited to see, like I said, for another accident similar, to see what the charges were going to be," said Wilton.

That happened in October.

Another woman was killed in Theresa under nearly identical circumstances. 

But this time, the other driver was indicted for criminally negligent homicide.

But there was a key difference - the first crash was in a passing zone.

Police say the second one took place on a double solid line.

"So that is one factor that differentiates the two cases," said Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert.

Intschert says she feels terrible for the Wilton family and told them so in a letter  

But slight differences in the two cases make a huge legal difference, even if she doesn't like it.

"There is no doubt that the case law and how it applies in different vehicular cases is frustrating," said Intschert.

To the Wiltons, though, the cases are all too similar and they'll continue to wonder why the outcome wasn't.

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