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Seemingly minor car accidents can turn deadly

Most minor car crashes are more of a nuisance to those involved in them. However, there are times when seemingly minor car accidents can turn deadly. This is what happened recently in a wreck that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike at approximately 3 a.m.

As two vehicles traveled south on the turnpike, they somehow made contact. One of the vehicles was able to pull off to the side of the road. However, the other was disabled in the right center and right lanes.

That is when the off-duty officer with the New York City Police Department got out of his vehicle in order to help the driver of the disabled vehicle. It was then that a third vehicle careened between the two stopped vehicles and struck the off-duty officer. The driver of that vehicle failed to stop, and instead opted to flee the scene without rendering aid.

The officer never made it to a hospital because he succumbed to his injuries at the scene. At approximately 8:30 a.m. that same morning, troopers with the New Jersey State Police located the vehicle believed to have been involved in the officer's death, along with its driver. It is not yet known what charges, if any, will be filed against that driver.

Regardless of whether any criminal charges are filed against the fleeing driver in connection with the off-duty officer's death, his family retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against that individual. Establishing that the death of their loved one was caused by the negligence of another could result in an award of damages seen in other deadly car accidents. Any restitution received could help defray the financial losses associated with the premature death of the victim.

Source: nj.com, "Man killed in hit-and-run crash near Newark airport was NYPD officer", Dan Ivers, Feb. 28, 2016

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