In a near-fatal accident last year, a man from Highland, who struck a 6-year-old girl while driving impaired, was sentenced for his recklessness on Thursday, April 19, 2012. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 45-year-old Joseph Mitchell Pantos plead guilty to his actions in 8th District Court to reduced counts of third degree felony charges for possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor for driving with a measurable amount of the controlled substance, and a class C misdemeanor count of failing to yield to a pedestrian. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $130,000 in victim restitution. The accident occurred back on September 29, 2011 when Pantos struck the girl in a crosswalk on U.S. 40 and about 100 West in Duchesne, Utah. Pantos was under the influence of methamphetamine. The girl was thrown 40 feet when his Chevrolet Colorado hit her. She was flown to the Primary Children’s hospital in critical condition. Pantos was arrested that same day.
Legally speaking, the young victim’s parents have a claim against this reckless driver. Somehow, though, I suspect that this man didn’t carry much insurance. In such cases, a claim against the parent’s “under-insured” policy can be made to make up the shortfall. In this case, I doubt the insurance from both polices combined will make this little girl whole.