Criminally Negligent Homicide Arising Out of Car Accidents In New York

In 1990 the Court decided two companion cases involving criminally negligent homicide arising out of automobile accidents: People v. Boutin (75 NY2d 692, 555 NE2d 253, 556 NYS2d 1 [1990]) and People v. Paul V. S. (75 NY2d 944, 554 NE2d 1273, 555 NYS2d 685 [1990]). In Boutin, we reversed a conviction for criminally negligent homicide where the defendant--traveling near, and possibly under, the speed limit--struck a marked police car stopped in the right-hand travel lane of Interstate 87 on a rainy, foggy night. In Paul V.S., decided in a memorandum the same day as Boutin, the Court affirmed a conviction for criminally negligent homicide where the defendant was traveling 90 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour "radar zone," accelerated after being warned by his passenger to slow down, continued past a line of cars that had been stopped by police, and ultimately struck and killed a state trooper attempting to direct him off the highway.