A New Jersey jury in Somerset County examined evidence in the courtroom and at the accident scene to determine if a woman was behind the wheel of a BMW when it struck and killed a man on Interstate 78 in Warren. Prosecutors said the woman first admitted she was the driver, but later claimed her husband had been driving the car. Prosecutors suggest that she was lying so that she could escape a vehicular homicide conviction that could put her in prison for up to 10 years. On March 17, the jury convicted the woman of the charge.
The fatal car crash happened on Oct. 10, 2010, when the woman's BMW allegedly struck a Subaru, killing its 22-year-old driver. Prosecutors alleged the woman had been driving drunk and speeding when she caused the accident, and reports say that her blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was above the legal limit.
The woman said her initial admission to being the driver was an effort to protect her husband from getting a second drunk driving conviction and losing custody of a child from a previous marriage. She also claimed that the accident happened when she, thought she saw a dog in the road, struck her husband's arm and caused him to hit the victim's car.
As the criminal case against the woman comes to a close, the family of the victim killed in the accident might choose to pursue an action in civil court. Through that action, the family members may be awarded compensation that covers damages caused by the accident.
Source: NJ.com, "Jury finds NJ woman guilty in vehicular homicide trial in Somerset County", Bill Wichert, March 17, 2014