On July 15, a Philadelphia judge ruled that a 20-year-old man will stand trial for charges related to the death of two people after an accident on Pennsylvania's Interstate 95 on April 6. The drivers of both vehicles allegedly had blood alcohol levels well over the legal limit.
The accident happened just before 3 a.m. when a Nissan Armada hit a Volkswagen Jetta stopped in the right lane. According to a representative of the Pennsylvania State Police, the Nissan hit the Jetta at speeds greater than 80 mph. The Jetta, according to video camera footage, pulled over and stopped in the right lane at 2:47 a.m. Testimony at a preliminary hearing showed that 46 vehicles negotiated past the Jetta before the Armada hit it.
The driver of the Jetta, a 25-year-old Philadelphia man, put the driver's seat in a reclining position with the transmission in park and had his flashers on. The Nissan driver, 20, is a resident of Rocky Face, Georgia. A 33-year-old male rider in the Nissan died after being taken to the hospital. The driver of the Jetta was also killed by the collision.
The Nissan driver's blood alcohol level was .14 percent. The defense noted that the Jetta's driver had a BAC level of .278 percent. The Armada's driver was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI, and bail was set at $600,000.
Intoxication is a major reason car accidents happen. In this case, it is unclear whether the Nissan driver bears full responsibility for the crash. However, a driver who abandons their responsibility for being alert to roadway conditions by driving drunk may be liable for the wrongful death their actions caused.
The family of someone killed by a negligent driver may face a significant financial burden. An attorney may review accident details and help the family file a wrongful death suit in civil court.
Source: Philly.com, "Georgia man ordered to be tried in crash that killed two", Joseph A. Slobodzian, July 17, 2014