Drinking and driving do not mix. However, some New Jersey drivers still seem to treat this fact like a suggestion. For some friends on a late night drive, an allegedly bad decision on the part of a driver caused the death of one of the passengers in an unfortunate car accident.
According to the New Jersey State Police, the 23-year-old man was driving on the Garden State Parkway shortly after 4 a.m. in the Township of Brick when the accident occurred. Authorities believe the driver was impaired when he lost control of his car and slammed into the guardrail. The car then rolled before coming to a rest off the parkway.
Unfortunately, a 22-year-old woman who was a passenger died as a result of the wreck. Officials pronounced her dead at around 6 a.m. The surviving passengers -- a man and a woman, both 23 years of age -- and the driver were transported to an area hospital to be treated for the injuries that they suffered in the accident. Authorities charged the driver with DUI, driving on a suspended license and causing death while operating a vehicle on a suspended license. The driver is incarcerated at the Ocean County Correctional Center on $50,000 bail.
While the New Jersey State Police continue their investigation of this car accident, the driver may face additional criminal charges that may yet be filed. Any evidence used in the criminal case by the prosecution may be useful in any separate wrongful death claim against the driver filed by the surviving family because of the death of their loved one. The injured passengers may also exercise their rights to file personal injury claims against the driver for damages as well. Any monetary award received in a successfully litigated claim could help recover the financial losses sustained due to this tragedy.
Source: nj.com, "Fatal accident on Garden State Parkway in Brick claims life of 22-year-old woman", Erin O'Neill, April 6, 2014