Trial Set On Crash That May Have Been Caused By Seizure Disorder
The Berkshire Eagle reports on a New York man facing charges of manslaughter by vehicle for a crash that killed a Housatonic woman in Massachusetts. 69-year-old Robert Bacigalupi will be tried on July 24th on charges of motor vehicle homicide and a marked-lanes violation. His trial will take place at the Central Berkshire District Court.
On April 14, 2018, Bacigalupi was heading eastbound on Maple Avenue (Route 23) from his Hillsdale, New York home. He crossed the center line and struck a vehicle being driven by 64-year-old Annemarie Bushka. Bushka died from her injuries at the scene. The force of the impact caused Bacigalupi’s vehicle to flip. He attributes the accident to the fact that he may have had a mini stroke and passed out. The stroke may have been caused by a seizure disorder he was not aware he had.
Medical records indicate that Bacigalupi was diagnosed in 2010 with “episodic memory loss” as well as the seizure disorder. The laws governing someone who has been diagnosed with epilepsy being able to drive vary from state to state. In recent years, some states have become more liberal, basing their laws on studies that have focused on actual risk. While studies indicate that the number of accidents involving those with epilepsy is higher than the general public, it is not as high as the accident rate for those that drive while intoxicated. New York state requires that the person diagnosed with epilepsy have a 12-month period where they have not had a seizure. A physician must submit a statement to the DMV regarding this period.