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Nevada gets tougher on negligent drivers

In October 2005, the state of Nevada passed a law that makes simple negligence in an auto accident a crime punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, and a one-year driver’s license suspension.  Governor Kenny Guinn signed this law in response to the high rate of auto accidents caused by simple negligence in the state of Nevada.  Now, in addition to being held responsible for compensating those injured in an accident, negligent drivers will also have to answer to criminal charges following an auto accident.

Even before the first Nevada vehicular manslaughter case goes to trial, one grieving family is calling for even tougher laws.  Just days after Nevada’s new law went into effect, 40-year-old Tudy Fallon was killed in a motorcycle accident by negligent driver Marco Jimenez.  While Jimenez was not drunk, drugged, or speeding during the time of the crash, he has been charged with a misdemeanor crime of vehicle manslaughter for his simple negligence.

Fallon’s family, however, says this is not enough.  They believe that if you take another person’s life—regardless of why—you should be charged with a felony offense.  While in some states, vehicular manslaughter is a felony crime; in Nevada, a felony manslaughter charge requires proof of reckless intent.  The grieving family vows not to let the death of their father and husband become another statistic.

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