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New Jersey family lost a loved one in high-speed crash

Driving at a high-rate of speed can be dangerous for a well traveled driver -- let alone for a teenager who does not have adequate experience at driving. Teenagers tend to believe they are invincible, and this can contribute to recklessness behind the wheel. This deadly combination of inexperience and speed is being blamed in an accident in which a New Jersey family lost a loved one.

The 18-year-old woman was a passenger in a vehicle that was also occupied by her 15-year-old brother and the 17-year-old driver. According to police reports, the vehicle was speeding along the roadway when the driver lost control. The vehicle skidded sideways and rolled several times before coming to rest on the lawn of an area resident.

During the crash, the victim was thrown out of the vehicle. Emergency medical personnel managed to get her to the hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries despite the efforts of medical personnel at the scene and at the hospital. No information was provided regarding whether the other two occupants of the vehicle suffered any injuries. The driver faces charges as a juvenile for homicide by vehicle.

In addition, the New Jersey family that lost a loved one in this crash retains the right to file a wrongful death claim. Since the driver is a juvenile, a careful assessment of the gathered evidence will be helpful in determining who may be named as defendants, including the possibility of including the parents of the driver. The evidence prosecutors intend to present in the criminal case could also provide the family with the evidence it needs to establish that the victim died due to the negligence of the young, inexperienced driver. If a civil court determines the teen was negligent, the family may be awarded a judgment for damages that could help with the unexpected financial losses incurred because of her death.

Source: CBS New York, "Driver Charged In Crash That Killed Woman, 18, In Emerson, New Jersey", April 24, 2015

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