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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 09/23/2010

Settlement reached in Bay Bridge lawsuit

By Washington Post editors

Attorneys have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over a fatal crash on the Bay Bridge in the summer of 2008.

Fifty-seven-year-old John Short died after he swerved his tractor-trailer to avoid hitting Candy Baldwin’s oncoming car. The truck crashed through a jersey barrier and plummeted into the Chesapeake Bay, 30 feet below.

Baldwin’s attorney says Short’s family has agreed to a $100,000 settlement. That’s the maximum amount payable through Baldwin’s insurance policy.

Baldwin was 19 years old at the time of the crash. An investigation determined she had a blood-alcohol level of .03 percent, which prosecutors decided was too low to press criminal charges. She was charged only with traffic offenses.

Her attorney, Ted Staples, says Baldwin is remorseful. He says she’s married, pregnant and living in Alaska.

Information from: WTOP-FM

By Washington Post editors  | September 23, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland, Traffic and Transportation  
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Comments

I thought it's a DUI regardless of blood alcohol level when the driver isn't of the legal drinking age. I had a friend who got one in Seattle years ago for exactly that reason. Any level of alcohol had proved he'd broken the law before he even got behind the wheel.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

That's a pretty cheap settlement of a wrongful death suit, particularly when you consider that most likely a third of it will go to attorney's fees.

Posted by: tcquinn | September 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

More like half will go to the attorney.

Posted by: cymp65 | September 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The driver of the truck is worm food because he swerved to avoid this individual and she is happy and pregant in Alaska. The driver should not have swerved, he would be alive and she would not be. She should have paid the price for drinking and driving not the trucker.

Posted by: Pilot1 | September 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

What I do not understand is why Short swerved his tractor trailer to avoid hitting Baldwin. The collision would have done some damage to the truck, but, he probably would have not had any serious injuries. Baldwin, on the other hand, would have most likely ended up dead, which would have been better than Short ending up dead.

Posted by: mebakeoven | September 23, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

What I do not understand is why Short swerved his tractor trailer to avoid hitting Baldwin. The collision would have done some damage to the truck, but, he probably would have not had any serious injuries. Baldwin, on the other hand, would have most likely ended up dead, which would have been better than Short ending up dead.

Posted by: mebakeoven | September 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

She wasn't drunk. She fell asleep. Not that there is much excuse for that either. She should have pulled off the road before she got to the bridge.

To DadRyan: It depends on state law. Differs for every state.

Posted by: rltomkinson | September 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

A pathetic settlement. She should have been criminally charged. I hope she's tortured by the knowledge that she killed a man. Laws in NC also state any alcohol under 21 equals a DUI, should be a national standard. Too bad they couldn't force her to give up her PFD for the rest of her life. I wonder where in Alaska she lives, I still have friends up there who would be able to go give her a good smack back to reality.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | September 23, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The reason he died is that his truck went off the bridge. That's not supposed to happen. The state has fixed the problem now, but (1) the truck driver did the right thing, and (2) nothing can bring him back.

I'm sure that the woman--really, a girl at the time--regrets her bad decision every day of her life.

Posted by: krickey7 | September 23, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

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