Kathleen Koutrobis died this past weekend. Koutrobis is a victim of reckless driving. Two middle aged men killed her, reportedly drag racing and driving while intoxicated.
Koutrobis’ death is the worst kind of injury – injury that is completely preventable. Her death apparently upset one of the drivers. According to his lawyer, the man was “devastated to learn” that Koutrobis passed away. The second driver may lose his license after refusing to submit to either breath or blood tests following the collision.
Many things will be settled in the weeks and months ahead. According to news reports, local law enforcement may seek criminal charges against the drivers; at least one of the drivers is already claiming that he wasn’t lawfully arrested and plans to challenge the revocation of his license; and Koutrobis’ family should surely investigate those options available to them under Missouri law as a result of losing their loved one.
But, in the meantime, we must all resolve to drive safely, remembering all those other folks with which we share the road. Laws prohibiting drunk driving, mandating speed limits, and directing the way in which we signal and change lanes must be followed. We must put down our cell phones and soft drinks and make-up, refuse in-coming calls, and deny the urge to send and receive text messages while behind the wheel.
In sum, all of us must remember that we have the responsibility – in fact, the legal obligation – to drive our cars, trucks, motorcycles and SUVs as a very careful person would drive her vehicle in the same or similar circumstance.
Matt Devoti is a partner with Casey & Devoti, a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Matt handles a variety of personal injury cases with an emphasis on helping victims of distracted, drunk or impaired driving. Matt and his law partner, Matt Casey, are also authorized speakers for EndDD.org’s ‘End Distracted Driving’ Student Awareness Initiative.