Police have said that a driver involved in a fatal New Jersey car accident on Dec. 27 was driving while intoxicated. The accident happened at approximately 3 a.m. on Interstate 80 in Hardwick Township in Warren County. According to police, a 23-year-old female driver was driving east in the westbound lanes. She reportedly crashed head-on into a car driven by a 22-year-old female.
Both drivers were taken to nearby hospitals. A 21-year-old passenger and 23-year-old passenger in the second car were also taken to the hospital. A 25-year-old male passenger in the second car was killed in the auto accident. There were no reports on the condition of the surviving victims.
A police investigation into the accident remains open, but the driver of the first car has been charged with DWI. There was no word from police on whether other charges would be forthcoming based on the outcome of the investigation. Police also didn't comment on the driver's blood-alcohol level or any other factors that may have confirmed her intoxication.
In addition to facing criminal charges, the accused driver may also face civil litigation from the injured victims and the family of the deceased victim. The injured driver and passengers could pursue damages for medical bills, rehabilitation and wages lost for the time off work. The family of the deceased could file a wrongful death suit for any expenses associated with the man's pain and suffering before death. A personal injury attorney could advise the victims on a suit's likelihood of success, how much in damages should be pursued and which parties should be held liable. In addition to filing suit against the driver, the attorney may also consider any party that contributed to her intoxication, such as a bar or restaurant.
Source: WNEP, "Police: Wrong-way Driver in Deadly Crash was Intoxicated", Jennifer Wade, December 27, 2013