A Syracuse resident was facing nearly 25 years in prison for leaving his vehicle sideways on Interstate 81 near Nedrow, causing a Pine Hill Trailways bus to crash into it, but may be relieved from having to serve this time. Syracuse.com recently reported that an appeals court upheld the judge’s decision to throw out the statements Robert Tarbell, 39, provided to the state trooper who responded to the accident which led to him being charged with driving drunk and causing a bus crash that injured 26 people.
Why would his statements be thrown out?
When the accident occurred back in 2014, Trooper Nicholas Lotito was called to the scene where he found the disabled vehicle left in the roadway that caused the bus to collide into it. Lotito began questioning Tarbell who at first denied that he was the driver of the disabled vehicle. But, because Lotito was persistent with the questioning, Tarbell “eventually told the trooper he had crashed his vehicle on the highway and left it there after having a few drinks at a friend’s house.”
Once Tarbell admitted to this, it prompted officers to collect a blood sample which proved he had alcohol in his system and allowed them to charge him with DUI. And because Tarbell acted recklessly by drinking before the collision, he was also charged with assault. When Tarbell’s case was taken before Judge Walter Hafner, he decided that because he was never read his Miranda warnings and “repeatedly asked a trooper if he needed a lawyer during the 45-minute roadside interview,” that this violated Tarbell’s rights and threw the interrogation out.
Although Tarbell was guilty of being reckless and did cause many to suffer who were involved in the bus crash, the State Supreme Court Appellate Division’s Fourth Judicial Department sided with Hafner’s ruling and believed that Lotito was required to read Tarbell his Miranda warnings prior to being questioned and using his responses to charge him with the crime. Tarbell remains free on bail and could have been sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison had he been convicted of the most serious offense. But, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office can still appeal the appellate court’s decision to the Court of Appeals if they do not agree with the decision.
While Tarbell was clearly in the wrong and was the cause of the bus accident in Syracuse, his rights were violated which changed the entire outcome of the case. And because he had a defense attorney working beside him and supporting him, he was able to prove this. This case is a prime example of why it is crucial for anyone who has been involved in a bus accident to contact a Syracuse bus crash attorney immediately. These professionals have the ability to
use the knowledge and skills they possess to obtain an outcome in your favor.
The truth is, everyone makes mistakes and while that doesn’t justify negligent actions, you have to remember that you have rights, even when your wrong, and you need to be sure those rights are protected. So, if you caused a bus collision or are partially at fault for causing an accident, let USAttorneys.com find you a nearby bus accident attorney in Syracuse who is ready and able to help you with your case.