Orange County Fatal Crash–Van Driver Charged

The New York State Police have filed criminal charges against the driver in the tragic van rollover accident that killed six people last September in Woodbury, New York. The police arrested Bernard Lattibeaudiere on January 18, 2011 and charged him with first degree unlicensed operation of a vehicle, under section 511-3 (a) (ii), which is a felony. He was released without bail and must return to Court on February 1.

Back on September 18, 2010, Mr. Lattibeaudiere was at the wheel of a church van which rolled over on the New York State Thruway after one of its tires blew out. The accident occurred north of Exit 16 in the Town of Woodbury. There were 14 passengers in the van, and six died, including the Rev. Simon White of the Joy Fellowship Christian Assemblies in the Bronx, his wife, and his sister.

Of the 14 passengers, only Mr. Lattibeaudiere and one passenger were wearing seat belts, although there is some question as to how many seat belts the vehicle was equipped with. According to the police, the van was traveling northbound in the left lane when the left rear tire blew out. After the van swerved over the rumble strip, the driver allegedly overcorrected to the right, causing the vehicle to roll over several times.

Apparently, Lattibeaudiere’s license had been suspended 25 times, leading to the felony charge on what is normally a misdemeanor. If convicted of first degree aggravated unlicensed operation, Lattibeaudiere faces fines of between $500 and $5,000, and must be sentenced to either a term of imprisonment, a sentence of probation, or a term of imprisonment as a condition of probation.

Contact the Westchester County Traffic Defense Lawyers online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 if you are charged with a criminal offense or traffic infraction for a free consultation to discuss your case in detail.