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Was New Jersey EMT guilty of negligence in fatal crash?

After having dinner at a New Jersey restaurant, a family of four was getting into a car to leave. As a brother and son was getting into the back seat of the vehicle, tragedy struck. His life was lost, and the tragedy has been blamed on the negligence of another driver.

The accident occurred on March 23 at approximately 10 p.m. A part-time EMT was driving northbound when he moved into the opposing lane to pass a car in front of him. As he veered back into his original lane of travel, he careened into the victim and the family's vehicle. The impact was such that some residents in the area thought it was an explosion.

Emergency responders were called to the scene, and when they arrived, they found the victim had lost consciousness and was suffering from severe injuries to his head and legs. He was rushed to an area hospital. Sadly, despite efforts to save his life, he died within hours of the incident.

Police took the reportedly erratic driver into custody. Authorities charged him with vehicular homicide and DWI, among other charges. His bail was set at $150,000, but he could be released if he can come up with cash equal to 10 percent of the bond. The ambulance service the driver worked for suspended the part-time EMT.

The report gave no indication of other injuries suffered by the survivors of this horrific crash. Certainly, losing a loved one was a devastating tragedy. At some point, the family is going to have to deal with the expenses associated with their loss. They retain the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver. If negligence is proved to the satisfaction of a civil court, it may award the family damages for medical expenses, burial and funeral costs and any other financial losses recognized by New Jersey laws.

Source: nj.com, "Off-duty EMT charged in fatal Bayonne crash; victim is Union City man", Felix Alarcon, March 24, 2014

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