A young Houston woman, who was only 21-years-old, died after a major accident at a local intersection. According to reports, law enforcement officials put responsibility for the collision on a 29-year-old man. The man was also injured in the accident and had to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, police and prosecutors announced that they have filed criminal charges against the man, including charges of vehicular manslaughter.

Typically, prosecutors file charges of this nature when there is reason to believe that the person charged caused a car crash through some plainly irresponsible behavior, as opposed to simply a mistake or a momentary lapse in good judgment.

In this case, police say that the driver slammed into the woman’s vehicle after running a red light. Police also have determined that the man was exceeding the legal speed limit, even though they did not say exactly how fast the man was going.

This tragic case illustrates that, while some may downplay it as a bad habit or as just rude behavior, stepping on the gas and then trying to race to beat a light is extremely dangerous. People traveling at higher speeds have a limited ability to avoid a collision. Moreover, if they don’t manage to beat the light, then their higher speed will likely cause significant damage to whatever vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist they hit.

In this case, the family of this young woman may also consider pursuing the man responsible for this action in civil court through a wrongful death case. After all, the criminal charges against him are primarily meant to punish him for irresponsible behavior, and not to ensure that the victims get compensated for their loss.