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Defendant in fatal car accident case sentenced for manslaughter

A man from Monmouth County, New Jersey, was recently sentenced before a federal judge for the involuntary manslaughter of a high school principal that occurred in an automobile accident. The car accident occurred when the man drove his vehicle head-on into oncoming traffic and crashed into a car driven by a local school principal. The principal was killed in the accident, and it was determined that the defendant had been under the influence of Ambien at the time of the accident. The man had taken over four times the recommended dose of the drug. The man was sentenced to 41 months in prison. Because the location of the accident was within Fort Monmouth, the case fell under the jurisdiction of the federal government, rather than the state of New Jersey.

This case illustrates the dangers of reckless driving. The defendant took over four times the recommended dose of Ambien, a sleeping pill known for its powerful effects, and got behind the wheel of a car. This action created an unreasonably high risk of danger to the lives of others.

As this case shows, drunk drivers are not the only impaired drivers who endanger motorists. Impaired drivers may be under the influence of illegal drugs, may be drowsy after work and falling asleep at the wheel, or they may be under the influence of medication, as was the case here. All of these impaired drivers pose a major threat to the safety of others both in New Jersey and nationwide.

Car accidents can change the lives of all involved in a matter of seconds. They can cause major medical and financial problems for the victims and their families. Fortunately, anybody injured in a car accident caused by another's negligence, or the family members of anyone killed in one, is entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any temporary or permanent disability incurred.

Source: The Ocean Signal, "Police Blotter: Man Sentenced in Wrongful Death Suit of Monmouth County School Principal," December 18, 2012.

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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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