A Cullman, Alabama, motorist was recently arrested on charges of vehicular homicide in the tragic deaths of her mother and four-year-old daughter, according to news reports. Jacquelynne Cosper, a 29-year-old mother was picked up recently by police after an investigation revealed that she was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol prior to the June traffic accident that killed the two family members riding in her car.
As a Birmingham drunk driving defense lawyer, I know the pain of families who lose loved ones in traffic accidents. A charge of vehicular manslaughter due to alcohol use is crushing. In this case, Ms. Cosper has the added burden of having been the driver of the car in which her young daughter and mother were killed. There is no easy way to approach such a case, but one thing is certain, retaining professional legal counsel is the wisest choice.
According to news reports, the Cullman County woman was arrested on a grand jury indictment charging her with vehicular homicide as well as DUI, plus not using a child restraint for her daughter
According to Alabama State Trooper reports, the deaths occurred on June 6 on County Road 1545 in Fairview, AL. The police report presented to the Cullman County district attorney's office stated that Cosper was driving her 2007 Ford southbound when she entered a curve at a high rate of speed, causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and smash into a tree.
The victims were identified as Linda Pope, 50, and Raegan Walker, 4, both of Cullman County. Obituaries appearing in the June 9 edition of The Cullman Times identified Pope as Cosper's mother and Walker as Cosper's daughter.
According to news reports, police believe that Cosper was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Because of this she is charged not only with DUI, but also vehicular homicide. In Alabama, homicide by vehicle is a special statute, which essentially states that if a motorist violates any traffic law that is below a felony and causes a death, he or she can be charged with homicide by vehicle. The Cullman County prosecutor's office is using this as the basis for the charge against Ms. Cosper.
Woman charged in vehicular homicide professes innocence, CullmanTimes.com, October 17, 2009