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Two people killed in vehicular homicide case

A car accident in Maplewood, New Jersey has claimed the lives of two young men, and has the driver, a 20-year-old son of a local fire chief, charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol. The auto accident allegedly occurred when the driver was drinking and speeding when he failed to observe a stop sign and broadsided another car.

The two victims, a boy just 16 years old and a 21-year-old male, were thrown from the car. Two other passengers were critically injured. The two men who were thrown from the car landed in a resident's lawn. The two injured men had to be cut out from the vehicle. The conditions of both men were critical following the crash. Authorities charged the 20-year-old with two counts each of vehicular homicide and aggravated assault by auto.

Careless or intoxicated drivers are a clear danger to other motorists, as this case demonstrates. Two people were killed horribly and two others severely injured due to another driver's alleged intoxication and recklessness. In addition, these accidents have serious consequences for the defendants: the driver in this particular case faces up to ten years in prison for each count of vehicular homicide, and three to five years for each charge of aggravated assault by auto.

Auto accidents take heavy tolls on their victims. They must pay for lost wages, medical bills and any disability incurred as a result. In this case, the two surviving victims are in critical condition, and if they have suffered severe injuries, they may have permanent disabilities stemming from the accident. In addition, there is the burden of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle.

Anyone injured in an auto accident is entitled to pursue a personal injury judgment against the responsible party and financial compensation in the form of damages. The victims have the legal ability to obtain a judgment from the court for damages against the defendant for his or her negligence, if such negligence, and its link to injuries, can be demonstrated properly.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "'Horrifying' scene: Maplewood car crash leaves 2 dead, driver charged with vehicular homicide," James Queally and Seth Augenstein, Aug. 8, 2013.

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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