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Former police officer's negligence leads to prison sentence

One New Jersey man's career and another man's life ended on Aug. 12, 2008. On that day, one officer borrowed his brother's sports car during lunch and invited another officer to go for a ride. As the driver who borrowed the car sped through the streets, he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a pole. His negligence took the life of his fellow officer.

After more than five years, the former officer pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct. The judge sentenced him to a prison term of three years. The judge also said the man must serve a full two years of that sentence before officials can consider releasing him on parole. Additionally, he will never again be allowed to be a public servant and has lost his pension from the police department.

The judge admonished the former officer for characterizing what happened that day as an accident. By driving at excessive speeds, he put not only himself and the officer in danger, but anyone else on the road as well. The crash could easily have involved other vehicles and caused more injuries and deaths. Nevertheless, the events of that day not only took the life of a fellow officer, but also left his wife and two young children without him.

Not only did a wife lose her husband and children lose their father, but now they are also without his income. The financial stresses placed upon this family by the now sentenced man's negligence are unacceptable. Even though the officers were on duty at the time of the crash, it is unknown whether the family is eligible for New Jersey workers' compensation benefits since the officers were not in the performance of their duties at the time. However, the widow has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the former officer in an attempt to recoup the financial losses she has most certainly sustained due to her husband's death.

Source: nj.com, Former North Brunswick cop gets prison time in fatal joy ride that killed a fellow officer, Sue Epstein, Feb. 27, 2014

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