This time of year, news reports are filled with tragic accounts of young graduates or prom attendees who were involved in motor vehicle accidents. A night of fond memories and laughter comes to a close, replaced with feelings of heartache and horror for victims and loved ones.
Recently, a 19-year-old driver involved in a Pennsylvania car accident that killed his 18-year-old passenger was charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter. The fatal accident occurred in Lowhill Township.
According to records, the driver was headed north when the car veered off the road coming to a stop after striking a group of trees. The teens were taken to a Lehigh Valley hospital where the passenger was pronounced dead on arrival. The teens were friends and both recently graduated from a local high school.
At the hospital, the driver told police he was unable to recall driving the vehicle or who his passenger was. Witnesses saw him exit the driver’s side of the vehicle after the car accident and rush to the other side of the car. Medical records obtained by state police showed the 19-year-old’s injuries were consistent with those of a driver.
According to a reconstruction of the car accident, the driver was travelling 63 mph in a 35 mph zone. The driver is also charged with reckless endangerment, driving at unsafe speeds and two counts of careless driving. The driver was released on $100,000 bail.
Many fatal car accidents are caused by the negligence of another. Often, in cases such as this one, surviving family members are allowed to pursue a wrongful death claim. While litigation will never fill the void felt by loved ones after losing a family member, it can help cover the costs of final medical bills as well as the deceased’s funeral expenses.
Source: Morning Call, “Teen charged in Lowhill crash that killed his former classmate,” Manuel Gamiz Jr., May 17, 2012