A large number of accidents are caused by driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs and texting. One of these factors by itself is dangerous to the driver and anyone else on the road, but when any combination of these factors is present, the risk of a car accident rises. In an accident that occurred in New Jersey on July 31, 2012, the driver was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and was also texting.
Three teenage girls, who ranged in age from 13 to 15, had the misfortune of walking along the same street the man was driving. He struck two of them, but the third, a 14-year-old, was able to escape being hit. The two teenagers the driver had struck suffered fatal injuries.
It was determined that the man's blood alcohol level was .183 at the time of the accident. He had also taken two prescription medications that specifically state not to drink alcohol when taken. He was also reported to be driving and texting. This year, he pleaded guilty to DWI and two counts of aggravated manslaughter in the first-degree.
At his sentencing hearing, the judge ordered that he spend nine years in prison for each manslaughter count for a total of 18 years. According to the prosecutor, he will serve at least 85 percent of that sentence before he can become eligible for release. In addition to the criminal penalties he faces, the families of the victims may also file wrongful death claims against him. They may use his conviction and sentencing, along with other evidence, to prove his negligence. Once negligence is proved, a New Jersey court may award the families damages typically seen in a deadly car accident.
Source: shorenewstoday.com, "Malmgren receives 18 years for accident that killed two teenage girls", David Benson, Dec. 5, 2014