An epileptic man is on trial for manslaughter, homicide and assault, stemming from a 2012 car crash in the Bronx that resulted in the death of a 25-year-old.
The Times reports that 53-year-old Vincent Zanfardino had an epileptic seizure while driving on the New England Thruway on the night of July 11th, 2012. He then crashed his car into a vehicle carrying 25-year-old Alfred Reitano, along with driver Brynn Rohlf and her fiancé, Dylan Gardineer. Reitano suffered a head injury and died the next day.
Zanfardino, who takes anti-seizure medication, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and assault. Prosecutors with the State Supreme Court in the Bronx argue that he had been told by doctors not to drive, and that he "knew the risks of driving with epilepsy."
His attorney, however, argues that it was within Zanfardino's legal right to drive. "It’s not Mr. Zanfardino’s fault he has epilepsy, and it’s not his fault the state of New York allows people with epilepsy to drive," he said in his opening statement yesterday.
It is not illegal for people with epilepsy to drive in New York, though individuals "must not have experienced a loss of consciousness within the previous 12-month period and must submit a physician's statement confirming this fact." Zanfardino had suffered three seizures in the year prior to the 2012 crash, and told his doctor he no longer drove; he did not tell the DMV he had epilepsy, according to prosecutors.