Recently, a judge in Westfield, New Jersey, suspended the sentences for two elderly men involved in a hit-and-run that left a 68-year-old hospice nurse dead. The alcohol-related accident allegedly occurred when the two men struck the woman while she tended to an injured pedestrian. The two men admitted to drinking before the accident at a local Knights of Columbus Hall. The victim had struck a pedestrian with her car shortly before the accident, and had gone out to help him when she was hit by the two men. The woman died at the hospital from her injuries from the accident. Both men stopped after the accident, but one left before police arrived and he was charged with hit and run.
The organization New Jersey Remembers recently held a dinner to commemorate those killed by drunk drivers and to honor the law enforcement officials responsible for enforcing laws against drunk driving in Trenton. At the ceremony, family members of alcohol-related accident victims testified about the lives of those lost and how the accident had impacted them. Police officers related how the death of a partner due to drunk driving gave them an insight that they never had before into how the accident impacts a person. Speakers also related that the penalties were now more severe than they were at the time of the accident, and how this serves as a deterrent to drunk driving. The speakers also related how organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocate for the victims and their families and work to spread awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The ceremony itself was held to honor the police officers with the most DWI arrests by the Attorney General's Office.
Recently, a former police officer from Plainfield, New Jersey filed an appeal of his conviction and sentence for drunken driving, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless endangerment. The convictions stemmed from a July 2011 car crash that killed two motorcyclists in Bangor, Pennsylvania. The automobile accident occurred when the retired officer's truck careened into a group of bikers. Two of the bikers were killed almost instantly at the scene, while four of them managed to swerve and avoid the truck.
A 30-year old man from Howell, New Jersey recently pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter in a case where he crashed into a marked police vehicle while intoxicated, killing a police officer. The car accident occurred in October of 2011, when the man lost control of his vehicle while driving intoxicated along the I-80 highway. The officer inside the car died of injuries sustained from the accident.
Local police recently arrested a 35-year old man from Ridgewood, New Jersey, on suspicion of drunk driving after he allegedly drove his pickup truck off the road and into a fence.
Police in New Jersey are ramping up a holiday crackdown on drunk driving. The assault on drunk driving is part of the "Get Sober or Get Pulled Over" statewide campaign, which is an attempt to prevent alcohol-related accidents by increasing police enforcement of drunk driving laws. The state of New Jersey plans to have officers conduct more saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints in order to detect alcohol-impaired drivers. The campaign began in New Jersey and elsewhere in the nation on December 7, and it also attempts to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated through promotional materials. The campaign, in existence since 1999, has worked to reduce the number of DUI accidents during one of the busiest traveling seasons in the year.
Recently, a 22-year old woman from Haskell, New Jersey turned herself in to local police after fleeing from the scene of the car accident where she injured four people. The car accident occurred when the small car driven by the woman swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a minivan. Two people in the minivan were injured, as were the woman's two passengers in the car.
The state of New Jersey is slated to receive a $5 million grant from the federal government to reduce traffic fatalities across the state. According to official announcements, the money will be used for a variety of initiatives including the encouragement of more seatbelt use and heightened pedestrian safety. The funds will go to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety and they will be dispersed to individual programs.
Recently, a New Jersey State Trooper from Spring Lake Heights was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol when he allegedly struck two parked cars, crashed his vehicle into a creek and then fled the scene of the accident. The trooper was off-duty at the time of the car accident. The car was found backed into a creek, and the police officer in question was arrested at his home. Luckily, no one was injured, although one of the cars was severely damaged.
Auto accidents may be just that -- accidents. But in many cases, there is much more to the story. For instance, was negligence involved? Was the crash alcohol-related? Did an individual or a group of individuals take action that specifically caused the car accident? How is liability determined for a multi-vehicle crash? These are questions that must be asked and answered when a car accident happens.