Auto Accident Trial Puts Spotlight on Seizures While Driving

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A trial involving a woman who is being charged with five counts of negligent homicide is getting national media attention because of the similarities the case shares with the recent incident where the United States Commerce Secretary was charged with a hit-and-run.

The one thing that the two incidents have in common are claims from the individuals driving that they had a seizure.  On February 17, 2011, a woman was driving a sport utility vehicle down a street in Thornton, Colorado, when she reportedly suffered a seizure.  This event allegedly caused the vehicle to go out of control, careen into an intersection, and crash directly into a pickup truck.  Those five people in the pickup were killed.

The prosecution is arguing that the woman driving the SUV never should have been in the vehicle in the first place.  They say that a doctor warned her back in 2006 that she should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle until she was given the go-ahead by a neurologist.  This warning allegedly came in an emergency room after the individual suffered a previous seizure incident.

For their part, the defense says that the accused’s own doctor didn’t even believe she had a seizure in 2006, and that no medical professional would advise not driving for five years following an event that had never been classified as a seizure in the first place.

The incident comes as the Commerce Secretary is under fire for an incident in which he allegedly crashed into two automobiles, drove away, and blacked out.  No injuries occurred, and he claims he had a seizure which prompted the incident.