A trial date was set last week for the Folsom man who police say was driving under the influence of nitrous oxide when his car crashed into oncoming traffic, killing two men and injuring a third.
Michael Dean Sharp, 22, of Folsom, has told he will go on trial on July 26. He is charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. According to the report on SacBee.com, Sharp purchased 50 cannisters of nitrous oxide from a Folsom smoke shop on January 7. He cracked one of the cannisters into a balloon and inhaled it while driving down Folsom Boulevard.
Approaching Parkshore Drive, Sharp’s car crossed the center line and into the path of a vehicle occupied by brothers Christopher Ohlander Martell, 37, and Robert Ohlander, 32, both from Citrus Heights, as well as a friend of the two men who was getting a ride home. The brothers died at the scene from their injuries, and the third man also suffered serious injuries. Sharp later told police he had heard the crash, but didn’t even know if he’d been in it, because he felt like he was “in a cloud.”
We would like to once again extend our condolences to the families and friends of Christopher Martell and Robert Ohlander at this incredibly difficult time.
Wrongful death claims are allowed under California law.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. The case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, and in a case like this, there are other factors to be considered as well. The friend who was injured could also file a claim to cover his medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
Compensation available to the families of the men who were killed in this outrageous incident includes charges for any medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the victims’ pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the victims’ families or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the victims’ spouses, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.