According to USA Today (11/24/14), Candice Anderson has now had her guilty plea in a car accident that killed her fiancé overturned. Anderson had been charged with intoxicated vehicular manslaughter because she had generic Xanax in her system at the time of the crash. She later pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and was given five years’ probation, 260 hours of community service and fines.
Worse than that, though, may have been the guilt of thinking she caused the accident that killed her fiancé. Though Anderson and her fiancé were not wearing seatbelts when the crash occurred, the airbags did not deploy when the car crashed into a tree. The car Anderson was driving, a 2004 Saturn Ion, was one of the cars included in the ignition switch recall.
The consequences of an ignition switch inadvertently switching out of the “on” position include a loss of power to most of a vehicle’s electrical components, potentially causing an accident. The loss of power can result in airbags not deploying properly, further putting the occupants of a vehicle at risk of serious injury.
GM reportedly did not contest the overturning of Anderson’s conviction. It is not known if there are many other cases where a person was charged for a car accident that may have been caused by the faulty ignition switch.
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Not all of the claims received by the fund administrator have been deemed eligible for compensation. Of those related to a death, 36 were deemed eligible so far, 33 were deemed ineligible, 74 were deemed deficient, 35 are under review and 52 were submitted with no documentation.
Those who wish to file a claim to the fund have until January 31, 2015, to do so.