A man was allegedly high on PCP when he drove the wrong way at a high rate of speed and caused a collision which killed two people and injured two others on January 31, 2013. He was arraigned on August 9 on charges of two counts of death by auto, one count of aggravated assault and exceeding the speed limit. He is being held on a $1 million bail.
The man reportedly drove a Dodge Durango in the wrong direction and at 100 mph when he collided with a Honda Odyssey with two people inside. The car accident occurred at the intersection of Russell and Chapel Avenues in Merchantville, New Jersey. The occupants of the Honda, a mother and teen daughter, died from their injuries, and the driver of the Durango and his passenger were injured.
According to prosecutors, blood tests indicated that the man was on PCP at the time of the crash. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that PCP causes distortions in a person's perception of their surroundings and affects sight, sound and feeling.
In a case similar to this one, where there is a clear at-fault driver, a personal injury attorney may use evidence such as toxicology results and accident reconstruction reports to build a solid case on behalf of surviving family members. This evidence may be used to persuade the insurance company to settle out of court with a fair offer.
Alternatively, the evidence could be brought to civil court and used to create a compelling argument on behalf of the plaintiffs. The attorney might use photographs, accident reports and other evidence to demonstrate that the at-fault driver behaved in a reckless or careless manner. If jurors are convinced that the driver behaved in an excessively reckless manner, they may decide to award punitive damages to the family.
Source: NBC10 Philadelphia, "Man Held on $1M Bail in 100-mph Wrong-Way Wreck ", Dan Stamm, August 09, 2013