Behzadi Law Has Recovered Millions Of Dollars For Clients Across Nevada Winning Personal Injury And Workers’ Compensation Claims

Probation Possible for Truck Driver Involved in Fatal Las Vegas Accident [Las Vegas]

LAS VEGAS (June 28, 2024)- The man who caused the deaths of three motorcyclists by driving on the wrong side of the road earlier this year might receive probation as part of a plea deal, according to the 8 News Now Investigators.

Claude Rafiki, 29, from Michigan, pleaded guilty to three counts of reckless driving resulting in death. The tragic incident occurred on March 23 on State Route 163 near Laughlin. Initially, Rafiki faced DUI charges, but these were dropped after tests showed no alcohol or drugs in his system.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors can recommend a sentence of four to ten years in prison to Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy. While the judge has discretion over sentencing, most judges tend to follow the negotiated terms. In this case, since the prison term is not part of the deal, the final decision rests solely with Judge Hardy.

The accident claimed the lives of Owen Hart, 22; Athena Faye Taylor, 21; and Jeremy Gebo, 44; all from St. George, Utah, according to the coroner’s office. Rafiki was driving in the No. 1 travel lane, close to the centerline, instead of the No. 2 lane designated for semis.

A Nevada State Police Highway Patrol trooper testified that Rafiki drove on the wrong side of the road for 25 seconds. Rafiki claimed that wind caused him to veer off course, adding that he was not impaired and was on medication for seizures. A trooper confirmed that there was indeed wind at the crash scene.

Nevada law specifies that a person convicted of reckless driving resulting in death could face a prison sentence ranging from one to six years per count. The felony is eligible for probation.

As part of Rafiki’s plea deal, his sentences would run concurrently, meaning it is unlikely that Judge Hardy would impose more than ten years in total if he opts for prison time over probation. At the time of the crash, Rafiki had a valid commercial driver’s license from Michigan, but his two-year medical certification was due to expire on March 24, the day after the crash.

Michigan law requires drivers to submit an updated medical clearance before the expiration date. Since Rafiki did not submit this information, his license was downgraded, and his CDL has been invalid since March 24.

Following the 8 News Now Investigators’ report in May regarding Rafiki’s license, several truck drivers commented that he could have obtained an updated medical clearance at a Nevada truck stop and did not necessarily have to return to Michigan. However, it was uncertain if this was feasible given Rafiki’s seizure medication.

State police did not release detailed information about why they initially believed Rafiki was impaired, beyond what was in the documents.

Rafiki remained in custody on Friday with a bail set at $500,000. His sentencing is scheduled for August 7.

Victims of such tragic accidents and their families may be entitled to various types of compensation. This can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and compensation for pain and suffering. Emotional distress and loss of companionship are also considered in wrongful death claims.

At Behzadi Law Attorneys, we specialize in helping victims and their families navigate these complex legal processes. Our dedicated team ensures that you receive the maximum compensation possible. We work tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable and provide comprehensive legal support throughout your case. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you during this challenging time.

Notes: The content presented in these posts by Behzadi Law Firm is compiled using external sources. These sources include news reports, police accident records, social media updates, and firsthand accounts of serious crashes in Northern and Southern Nevada. Our writing team has not independently verified this information. Should you encounter any inaccuracies in our posts, we encourage you to inform our firm immediately. We are committed to maintaining the highest level of accuracy and will promptly update the post with the most accurate information available. Additionally, if you wish for a post to be removed, please let us know, and we will ensure its timely removal.

Disclaimer: Our intention in sharing information about serious accidents is to raise awareness about the risks associated with driving. We hope that this awareness encourages our fellow community members to exercise greater caution, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries. This is not intended to be a business solicitation. The information provided in this post is not legal or medical advice. The photo used in this post was not taken at the actual accident scene

Source: 8 News Now

The map below shows State Route 163 near Laughlin where the accident occurred