Gwinnett County Mother Killed by a Drunk Driver

In a tragic automobile accident, a Lawrenceville mother was killed by a drunk driver on Sunday, June 7, 2009. The woman, Sabrina Stanek, was standing in her yard when she saw a man in a Ford 350 pickup truck zooming up and down the road in her residential neighborhood. Stanek began waving at the man, Constantin Toncz, to slow down when she was struck and killed. Toncz apparently jumped the curb and struck Stanek, and then slammed his truck into her boyfriend’s parked truck, pinning Stanek in between. After the violent truck wreck, the drunk driver did not stop to render aid. Instead, he abandoned his truck and walked to a family member’s house down the street. Police arrested Toncz there later that night. Toncz has been in trouble with the law before and was out of jail on bond for a felony theft charge when the tragedy occurred. Police reported that Stanek died just after 9 p.m. Toncz was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, breach of duty to drive, stop, or return to the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The tragic drunk driving auto accident devastated members of the young mother’s family, who claimed she was simply trying to protect her children. Stanek’s parents are now attempting to gain custody of their daughter’s two children, ages 4 and 6. Mercifully, the children did not witness the accident because they were asleep in the home. Stanek had worked as a manager at a Lawrenceville product distribution company.

In a later development, Gwinnett County District Attorney Jennifer Taylor filed a petition to revoke bond. The District Attorney’s office had uncovered new evidence that suggested Toncz had acted intentionally in striking Stanek. It is unknown what additional facts were discovered, but Toncz’s bond was revoked.

The notion that this man would intentionally run down a woman and violently kill her in front of her own home in her own neighborhood is disgusting. If true, the man should be charged with first degree murder and be subject to the death penalty. Another tragedy is that the drunk driver’s insurance company may use the fact that this man’s actions were intentional to deny coverage under his insurance policy. This would mean that this woman’s children may be denied any wrongful death settlement as a result. Intentional acts are not covered under any insurance. Will this happen? Potentially, it could. We can only hope that Ms. Stanek’s family hires a very good wrongful death attorney who specializes in representing children who have been seriously injured by the reckless actions of another. The attorney needs to act quickly in establishing Mr. Toncz’s state of mind. Hopefully, the Stanek family had underinsured and uninsured coverage on their own vehicles.

Court revokes bond for man accused of DUI, Gwinnett Daily Post, July 4, 2009.

Police: Drunk Driver, Hit Killed Woman,, June 10, 2009.

Man accused in fatal hit-run appears in court, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 9, 2009.

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