Nearly every New Jersey driver understands that weather conditions can change the way a vehicle reacts on the road. For instance, heavy rains can make the roads slick and difficult to navigate. The weather may be a factor in a car accident that killed an 18-year-old man.
In the early afternoon on a recent Saturday, rain storms seemed never-ending, which caused the young, inexperienced driver to lose control of the car he was driving. Police believe that due to the heavy rains, the vehicle lost contact with the surface of the eastbound lane of the roadway and began to spin. As it spun, it drifted out of its lane into oncoming traffic.
Another 18-year-old man driving an SUV was in the westbound lane at the time. He attempted to avoid colliding with the out-of-control car by veering to the right side of his lane. Unfortunately, the maneuver was not successful and the front driver's side of the SUV slammed into the passenger side of the car.
The car driver suffered fatal injuries to which he succumbed at the scene. The driver of the SUV was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated for pain in his neck and back. For nearly three hours, police scoured the scene of the accident for evidence and a determination of how the crash occurred. Even though the investigation is ongoing, police arrested the surviving driver. Reports indicate that he could face criminal charges in connection with the accident and the death of the other driver.
He could also face a wrongful death claim from the family of the deceased driver. If it is proved that he was negligent in some way, a New Jersey court may consider awarding damages to the family. However, it will be necessary for the family to prove that the other driver was at least 50 percent liable for the victim's death under New Jersey's comparative negligence law. If they prevail, any damages awarded could be reduced by the percentage, if any, that the court determines the victim was responsible for the car accident.
Source: nj.com, "Turnersville man, 18, killed in Washington Township car accident on Fish Pond Road", Greg Adomaitis, Nov. 1, 2014