Driver with untied bikini top cleared in crash

Last updated 08:06 26/11/2013

Relevant offers

Americas

LAPD shooting of homeless man is caught on video US teen urged friend to kill himself, police allege Woman fakes kidnapping to avoid boyfriend's birthday US weather delays 30-minute flight for over nine hours Girl dies following Facebook feud Brazil cracks down on protesting truckers after violence Blind dog survives two weeks in freezing conditions John Kerry warns Benjamin Netanyahu not to use Congress to play politics over Iran Former professional baseballer Mark Gilbert goes in to bat as US ambassador Venezuela clamps down on US embassy, tourists

A US court has cleared a driver in a fatal crash after agreeing she faced an "unforeseen emergency" when a back-seat passenger untied her bikini top.

Brittany Lahm of Manhattan briefly took her hands off the wheel when her bikini top came off while she was driving in New York in July 2008, the Daily News reported.

Lahm and a group of friends were returning to Rockland County after a day at the New Jersey shore when Brandon Berman allegedly pulled the bikini strings. He was killed when the vehicle hit a guardrail and flipped.

In a 3-1 decision, the Brooklyn Appellate Division last week upheld a Rockland jury verdict, which found Lahm's bikini top problem constituted "a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her own making."

The verdict came after a 2011 civil trial brought by Jason Pelletier, one of four passengers in Lahm's car.

Pelletier, who was injured in the crash, sued Lahm for damages. He testified that she leaned forward for about 20 seconds as she attempted to retie her bathing suit top. His lawyers argued that she should have pulled over before trying to adjust her top.

Lahm testified that she took her hands off the wheel for only a second.

All the occupants of the car were 19 at the time.

In his appeal, Pelletier argued that the judge should not have instructed the jury on an emergency doctrine that says a motorist facing an unexpected circumstance may not be negligent.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content