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Pennsylvania woman charged in fatal accident

A woman was arrested and charged on Sept. 24 in connection with a fatal accident in Mahanoy Township on March 29. The woman, whose bail was set at $100,000, is facing charges of drug possession, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle while DUI and various traffic violations.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, the fatal car accident happened around 12:30 a.m. on Route 54 in Schuylkill County, when the 37-year-old Sheppton woman, who allegedly had just hit a 41-year-old pedestrian and driven away, lost control of her vehicle. The woman had been traveling east in her 1997 Chevrolet C/K 1500 when she crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier, driven by a 62-year-old Shenandoah man. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to end up facing east on the westbound lanes.

The pedestrian suffered minor injuries in the crash. The driver of the Cavalier died as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident. The Sheppton woman also suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported via air to the hospital for treatment. She was arrested at her home after police completed a lengthy investigation into the crash.

In cases such as this one, the surviving family of the deceased victim might choose to file a wrongful death claim against the driver if the information from the police investigation as well as the charges brought against the driver can be used to show liability and negligence. Charges involving DUI and drug possession as well as those for traffic violations, such as the ones brought against the driver in this case, can often be used to show that the driver was negligent and that the victim's death was a result of the driver's actions. In a successful claim, the family might receive both economic and non-economic damages.

Source: WFMZ, "Schuylkill Co. woman facing homicide charges after March fatal accident ", September 29, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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