On March 27, a 22-year-old New York man pleaded guilty in connection to a fatal crash in Jersey City in May 2013. He faces up to 21 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, the defendant jumped a curb with his vehicle and killed a 24-year-old father as he walked along Paterson Plank Road near Congress Street at around 3:30 a.m. on May 11, 2013. He then continued driving and hit several more cars before being apprehended by police in Hoboken.
The defendant's blood alcohol content level was found to be .13, which is above New Jersey's legal limit of .08. As part of a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, aggravated assault by auto and leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident. He is expected to also plead guilty to DWI when he is sentenced on June 26 in Hudson County Superior Court. The state is asking for the defendant, a Bronx resident, to be sentenced to consecutive terms of 10 years for vehicular homicide, 10 years for fleeing the scene of the crash and 18 months for aggravated assault by auto.
A drunk driving defendant who caused a fatal car crash may face civil litigation in addition to any criminal charges that are filed. A deceased victim's family has the right to seek financial compensation for their losses through a wrongful death action. With the help of an attorney, the family could prove the defendant's negligent actions directly caused the death of their loved one. If the claim is successful, the defendant could be compelled to pay for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of companionship and other damages allowed by statute.
Source: NJ.com, "Bronx man pleads guilty to killing Jersey City dad in 2013 crash," Michaelangelo Conte, March 30, 2015