Justice and Safety for Crash Victims
Justice for Crash Victims
“Candice Anderson received the bittersweet news Monday in a Texas courtroom, fighting back tears, and her arm around the mother of the boyfriend she had felt responsible for killing in a car crash 10 years ago.
The judge cleared Ms. Anderson in the death of the boyfriend, Gene Mikale Erickson, even though she had pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the case years ago.
Ms. Anderson, 21 at the time of the crash, was driving her car when she inexplicably lost control and crashed into a tree. Mr. Erickson, her passenger, died at the scene, and Ms. Anderson has been racked with guilt ever since.
In getting her record cleared, Ms. Anderson benefited from an extraordinary — and long delayed — admission by General Motors, which on Monday for the first time publicly linked Mr. Erickson’s death to an ignition switch defect in millions of its small cars….”
“Ms. Anderson’s Saturn Ion was among the cars equipped by G.M. with the defective switch, which can cause a loss of power, disabling power brakes, power steering and airbags. At least 35 deaths have been linked to the defect, which went unreported by G.M. for more than a decade.
In May 2007, five months before Ms. Anderson entered her guilty plea, G.M. had conducted an internal review of the crash and quietly ruled its car was to blame, but never let Ms. Anderson or local law enforcement officials know.
After the crash on Nov. 15, 2004, Ms. Anderson’s parents liquidated their 401(k) to retain a lawyer to defend her. While a deal with prosecutors spared her jail time, she was on probation for five years and paid more than $10,000 in fines and restitution.” See