More Road Deaths
November 30th, 2009

In the wake of the passage of Leandra’s law, which makes it a felony to drive intoxicated with children in the vehicle, two car accidents in New York City offer more evidence that sober drivers can be deadly too. In both cases, the alleged drivers had suspended licenses.

On the evening before Thanksgiving, Allmir Lekperic apparently struck and killed Peter and Lillian Sabados as they carried canned goods to their Staten Island church. According to press accounts, Lekperic had his driver’s license suspended 29 times since 2006 — most recently in September — and had a number of other traffic violations as well.

And on Friday, Sonya Powell was walking with her fianc in the Bronx when she was hit by a car, allegedly driven by Sheldon Reid. Reid had pleaded guilty to driving without a license in 2001.

The deaths could focus attention on a bill proposed by Assemblymember Robert Sweeney that would make vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter felonies when committed by a driver with a suspended or revoked license.

Lekperic, now out on $50,000 bail, faces two felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree. According to the Staten Island Advance, he could confront addition charges following an investigation of the crime. The current felonies carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Reid also has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident as well as aggravated unlicensed operation.

As Gotham Gazette reported last week, very few people involved in fatal accidents are convicted of felonies. For more, see Death by Car.

By on November 30, 2009, 2:03 pm
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