Truck Driver Cleared on Baltimore Limo Crash

Posted on December 12, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

DUNDALK, Md. - Nearly three months ago, bride-to-be Sunshine Royston was killed in Baltimore the night of the Patapsco High School graduate’s bachelorette party when a tractor-trailer made a left turn into her limousine.

The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, which investigated the case, last month determined there was no “gross negligence” on the part of the driver.

“The highway reconstruction report did not support a charge of [vehicular] manslaughter,” said Marty Burns, spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office.

Several factors are considered for vehicular manslaughter, including drinking, speeding, force of impact, erratic driving, fleeing the scene, skid marks, damage to vehicles and the environment of the crash scene, according to Burns.

A Nov. 19 letter to Victoria Bull, Royston’s mother, explained the lack of criminal charges. Mark Cohen, assistant to the state’s attorney’s Homicide Division chief, wrote that there was not a sufficient legal basis to charge anyone with automobile manslaughter.

“The police investigation reveals an absence of gross negligence. Gross negligence is a necessary element of the crime of automobile manslaughter,” Cohen wrote.

Manslaughter by vehicle is punishable with 10 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

“Driving an 18-wheeler in the city in the middle of the night, making a left-hand turn into a limousine sounds like negligence to me,” said Fred Thiess, Royston’s maternal grandfather and president of the Wells-McCommas Citizens Improvement Association.

The tractor-trailer’s driver may face traffic charges not subject to jail time, Burns said. Traffic charges are pending and are expected to be determined within the week.

“I just want [the driver] to understand the consequences of his behavior. I don’t think he’ll understand that when he stands in front of a traffic court judge,” Thiess said. “He needs to be reminded that what happened, can happen.”

Burns said the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Offices sees 20 to 30 vehicular manslaughter cases a year. In 2007, nine amounted to charges resulting in jail time.

Thiess said the fact that the driver’s toxicology report showed no drugs or alcohol is worse: “I know it was an accident and he didn’t mean to hurt anyone, but having said that, I know it was extremely reckless.”

Pennsylvania resident Cameron Ingool was pregnant and severely injured in the accident in the 4000 block of E. Monument Street. Her jaw is still wired shut and she will have to go in for another surgery after the holidays, Thiess said.

Royston, 28, had been living with her fiance, Joe Hillegas, and their three children in Dallastown, Pa., for two years. Makencie, at seven months old the youngest of the children, was still being breast-fed at the time of Royston’s death on Sept. 13.

“The whole family has had a lot of trouble with this,” Thiess said.

The community, in the midst of the tragedy, has been “fantastic,” Thiess said. “You see the best in people at the worst of times,” he said.

Source: The Dundalk Eagle

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Arizona Operator Knows Quality Affiliations Take Time

The Driver Provider’s Mary Beall dishes out some valuable advice for building strong affiliate relationships.

NLA Supports, Celebrates Charities At LCT East

Early bird and group discounts end today, so don’t miss your chance to attend this event at the show!

Attention To Detail Sets California Operator Apart

WebXclusive: Millennial operator Aaron Schiff of Ascot Limousine uses his talents to maintain the stellar reputation of his godfather’s company.

Uber's Creepy Drones And Drivers

TNC Travesties Of The Week: The company's marketing techniques prove to be just as aggressive as their independent contractors. 

70 Defining Moments In Luxury Industry History

From the 1970s to the present, check out these incredible events that affect the wider luxury services and products sector. 

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close