In November 2004, Candice Anderson was driving along with her fiance, Gene Erikson, in Texas. There was a crash - the car veered off the road and hit a tree. Anderson was injured, Erikson was killed. Naturally, prosecution followed, as it does when someone dies:
Because there were no skid marks, authorities believed Anderson was at fault and charged her with negligent homicide, according to the lawsuit. Believing she was to blame, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years of deferred punishment and 260 hours of community service. She also was required to pay for Erikson's funeral and $3,500 in court costs . . ..Want to take a guess at what kind of car Anderson was driving? A 2004 Saturn Ion, one of the numerous GM models equipped with a defective ignition switch that's caused accidents killing (at least) 13 people over the years.
Thankfully, Anderson didn't go to prison. Nonetheless she was coerced into doing 260 hours of community service for a crime she didn't commit. And, although this is coming out because Anderson is now suing GM, there appears to be little doubt where the fault really lies:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's road safety watchdog, confirmed last week for Erickson's mother, Rhonda, that the crash was caused by the bad switchAnderson lived with the guilt of having caused the death of a loved one for years, not to mention the stigma of having been a convicted criminal. Hopefully, she'll get something out of GM, because it's unlikely anyone actually responsible for that crash will ever actually see the inside of a criminal courtroom.