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New York man charged with DWI after fatal crash

On Dec. 6, a 71-year-old New York driver crossed the double yellow line on Route 25 in Greenport, causing a fatal car accident. The driver, who was charged with driving while intoxicated, is the owner of a local business. His Chevrolet pickup truck collided with a 2006 Honda after he crossed into oncoming traffic. Both drivers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. The passenger in the Honda, a 22-year-old Peconic man, was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital where he died of his injuries.

The 71-year-old driver posted $250 bail for the DWI charge while he was in the hospital. In addition to possible intoxication, his driving ability may have been further compromised by heavy rain that was drenching the area at the time of the accident. Local police are investigating whether the rain was a factor in the crash that killed the Honda's passenger.

The weather conditions may make determining the responsibility for the car accident a bit more complicated. The police investigation, eyewitness accounts of the crash, toxicology reports and attorneys representing the victims may be able to determine the degree of negligence the Chevrolet driver displayed. If negligence is found, an attorney representing the family of the deceased victim may be able to maintain a wrongful death action.

As the burden of proof is less stringent in a civil case than it is in a criminal one, whether or not a driver is ultimately found guilty of DWI would not necessarily have an impact on a future wrongful death action stemming from a fatal car accident. A personal injury attorney can advise family members in such a situation as to their possible remedies.

Source: Southold Local , "Man charged in fatal head-on DWI crash to be arraigned Tuesday", December 15, 2014

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