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Former police officer at center of fatal crash trial

A trial over a fatal crash that involved a former Pittsburgh police officer has begun, and if what authorities have said is true, the officer may have been at fault in the crash. The person in question, a 31-year-old male from the Lincoln Place neighborhood, was not on duty when he was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He was allegedly under the influence, with reports indicating that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.112 percent. This is higher than the legal limit in Pennsylvania.

The drunk driving accident occurred in September 2010 when the 31-year-old was taking a 28-year-old woman home from a bachelorette party. Another officer saw the two on the man's motorcycle and followed them down East Carson Street and onto Mifflin Road. That officer said that the man did not seem drunk. It was soon after that a Ford Expedition with one headlight stopped near the officer and told him that he had been involved in an accident.

According to an accident reconstruction expert, the motorcycle struck the SUV. The driver of the SUV had veered mostly off the road in an attempt to avoid the collision but still managed to hit the back of the motorcycle. The impact threw the 28-year-old woman about 30 feet from the motorcycle. She was taken to UPMC Presbyterian and died about 45 minutes after the crash occurred. A paramedic said that he found her with a broken pelvis, a broken chest and several head injuries. He said that she was also bleeding internally. The off-duty officer was thrown from the motorcycle but survived the incident. He was fired a month after a February 2011 hearing. According to allegations, he was driving between 42 and 51 mph in a 25-mph zone. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence and several other driving offenses.

People deserve the freedom to drive on public roads without fear of drunk drivers, but what happens when the people who are injured or killed are passengers in the drunk driver's vehicle? Personal injury lawyers can help those injured due to the recklessness or negligence of a drunk driver get the compensation they deserve for claims such as wrongful death, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.


Source: 
Trib Live, "Trial begins for Pittsburgh officer accused of DUI fatality" Adam Brandolph, Sep. 16, 2013

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Gregory R. Gifford
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