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Intentional car accidents often end in criminal and civil actions

Not every crash that happens here in New Jersey or elsewhere is a mistake. Some car accidents are caused intentionally for a variety of reasons. For example, a woman is accused of intentionally causing a fatal wreck after a domestic confrontation.

According to reports, the former military police officer was pursuing her estranged husband and a woman in a separate vehicle in a reckless manner. Her pursuit caused the 23-year-old woman driving the vehicle, which was also occupied by her 26-year-old husband, to lose control. The vehicle then left the road, and it somehow ended up crossing over into oncoming traffic where it slammed into another vehicle.

The woman's husband and the driver both suffered fatal injuries in the accident. Fortunately, the 72-year-old man driving the oncoming vehicle survived. Last month, the estranged wife of the man who died was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter.

The woman's criminal defense counsel contends that his client was not a factor in the crash. She remains free, but the court required her to surrender her passport and make weekly calls to court officials. No indication was given regarding any future court dates.

The families of the victims retain the right to file wrongful death claims against the woman as well. Any evidence that New Jersey prosecutors intend to present to the court -- along with any subsequent conviction secured -- could help establish that her actions caused or contributed to the deaths of the victims. A successfully litigated claim could result in an award of damages typically seen in other fatal car accidents.

Source: nj.com, "Ex-military cop charged with causing crash that killed husband, friend", Kevin Shea, Jan. 25, 2017

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