Driving is a privilege, not a right. You don’t have a legal right to drive; and if you have a license, it can be taken away from you. Many motorists and pedestrians are killed by people who should not be driving. Some people have a long record of arrests, accidents, moving violations or drunk driving that the legal system simply let slip through its fingers.
A man was accused of speeding through Elizabeth in the cab of a tractor trailer last month, smashing into several cars, killing one person and injuring another. He had no less than 55 prior arrests in California, with more in Colorado, reports NJ.com.
Daniel Burnam Williams appeared in criminal court last month. He gave his address as Brighton, Colorado, but that may or may not be true. Law enforcement sources say Williams has used ten different aliases and has eight different Social Security numbers. Williams, if that’s really his name, appeared to nod off while in court, though his head was supported by a neck brace.
Police claim that in the early morning of July 9, Williams was driving a truck that broke through a barricade, speeded down several streets, travelling a total of 3½ miles and evading police cars trying to stop him. He hit one car head on, killing 24-year-old Jeffrey Oakley of Elizabeth. Police claim there was a strong smell of alcohol when Williams was pulled from the truck after the accident.
Williams pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree reckless aggravated assault. The prosecuting attorney said Williams has 55 arrests in California and at least eight felony convictions. Some of the arrests involved drugs, alcohol and domestic violence. Williams also has an arrest record in Colorado. He is believed to have been driving a truck for three years.
Last year it was a New Jersey man menacing those on the roadways despite a record of DWI arrests and accidents. His day job was that of a Linden police officer. Pedro Abad was driving the wrong way on the West Shore Expressway in Staten Island last March when he hit a tractor trailer head on. In the car were another off-duty Linden police officer and a civilian. Both were killed, according to NJ.com.
Abad and his friends left a strip club at 5:00 a.m. before causing the accident. Abad and a second off-duty Linden police officer in the car were critically injured in the accident. His blood-alcohol level was above the legally allowed limit.
Abad was arrested for DWI in 2013 after an accident in Rahway, reports NJ.com. He was unable to complete a sobriety test but refused to take a blood alcohol test, so his license was suspended. The police report noted that Abad couldn’t say where he was, smelled of alcohol, leaned against the patrol car for balance, and had “bloodshot, watery eyes,” “droopy eyelids,” and slurred speech.
The DWI charges filed against Abad after a 2011 accident where he drove through the wall of a Roselle store were dismissed because the evidence against him, including State Police reports about blood-alcohol testing, had not been turned over to his defense attorney as the judge in the case had ordered.
Abad had been involved in eight car crashes in New Jersey from 2005 to 2015 reports SILive.com. Despite his arrests, suspended license and record of accidents, the Linden police department never disciplined him prior to the accident on Staten Island.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident in New Jersey, schedule a free consultation with our office by calling us at (973) 358-6134 or by using our online quick connect form. Statutes of limitations apply, so contact us as soon as possible so you can learn about your legal rights and take action to protect your interests.