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A woman from Rutland, Vermont was sentenced Monday, January 12, 2009 to three months in prison for her role in a fatal automobile accident that killed a fellow Rutland-native.

Andrea Minard-Hawkins, 33, of Prospect Street, pleaded no contest in November to a single misdemeanor charge of careless operation in connection with the three-car wrongful death car accident last year.  Michael Johnson of Rutland, the father of Minard-Hawkins’ daughter, was killed in the accident.

Our car accident lawyers urge you to stay focused and pay careful attention to the road at all times while driving so that such a devastating event does not happen to you or the people around you.

Police said Minard-Hawkins was driving north on Route 7 when the car accident occurred after she made an unsafe lane change when crossed the center line going around a sharp curve, side-swiping an oncoming car and knocking it into a guardrail.  Police said Minard-Hawkins continued north in the southbound lane before hitting a Dodge transit van in another auto accident.

Johnson was a passenger in Minard-Hawkins’ car, along with their daughter.  Police said they were going to Salisbury to look at a puppy.  Police said there was no indication she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving (DUI).

A Middlebury District Court Judge sentenced Minard-Hawkins to six to 12 months, suspended with probation except for three months to serve.  Conditions of her probation include that she not drive without permission of her probation officer and that she complete a driver’s education course.

Minard-Hawkins spoke softly as she addressed the court, apologizing for the auto accident and claimed that she did not remember what happened.

Laura Frolish, one of the people hurt in the auto accident, made a statement describing exactly what happened when Minard-Hawkins’ car appeared in front of them.

“We just thought we were all dead at that point,” she said.  “I just thought I’d like to see who caused such grief for me.”

Frolish said she and her friends have hired a car accident lawyer, and that — although she drove alone to the Middlebury court that day — she is still afraid of driving after the fatal car accident.

Even if you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important to stay alert and pay attention to the road at all times.  Diverting your attention for even a moment can lead to a major car accident and — in Andrea Minard-Hawkins’s unfortunate case — the death of a loved one and serious injuries to several others simply for being on the road with her.  Because of careless driving, Minard-Hawkins’ daughter will grow up without a father, and her mother will be spending time in prison.

Please feel free to call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.  We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish.  No fee if no recovery.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

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