Carmen Huertas, 31, had a fun game to play with a car packed with girls going to a slumber party at her house. No it wasn’t counting VW bugs or out-of-state license plates. She asked which of the seven girls thought that she would crash. Since at least one girl was begging her to slow down, it was clear that some of the kids thought the answer was yes. It is not clear how Leandra Rosado, 11, voted: she died when the allegedly intoxicated Huertas crashed. Huertas notably was sober enough to pull her own daughter from the wreck but left the rest of the kids to fend for themselves, including Leandra who died on the side of the road.
The Bronx mother was reportedly so drunk at a party that her former boyfriend told her current boyfriend that she was not fit to drive after drinking cognac and other drinks. The current boyfriend confronted her and when she insisted on driving, he pulled his 14-month-old boy out of the car — possibly saving his life.
Huertas had more than one and half times the legal limit in her blood stream.
What is most interesting about the case is the statement of the district attorney that others might be charged. This would create an interesting legal question of whether the failure to take steps to stop Huertas makes them criminally culpable. One such person who was confronted about her condition was her mother who reportedly brushed off the suggestions that she was intoxicated.
There is also a possibility for civil liability. While Dram shop laws often exclude (or are interpreted as excluding) private social functions, a standard negligence case can still be brought. We have seen such claims in prior cases, here.
In one of the most chilling moments, Huertas was confronted by at least one of the girls about her driving and allegedly responded “[i]f you think this is bad, wait until we get on the highway.” She was tragically right.
She is now charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/10/11/2009-10-11_mom_was_legally_drunk_in_crash_that_killed_11yearold_girl_say_cops.html#ixzz0Ux0qF6gX
The Manhattan District Attorney released a detailed account of the case against Huertas, here.
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