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Pennsylvania man pleads guilty in drunk driving case

A 64-year-old man pleaded guilty to a charge of homicide by vehicle and will be sentenced to three to six years in jail on May 20. The 31-year-old victim was killed on in February 2013 as he was driving northbound on Route 28 in O'Hara at about 12:30 a.m. According to police, the man who caused the crash was driving southbound in the northbound lane that the victim had been driving in.

The victim had been driving behind another vehicle that was able to spot the wrong-way driver and pull over to avoid a collision. However, the victim was unable to do so and the two cars collided head-on. According to equipment inside of the defendant's car, he did apply the brake before the collision occurred. After his guilty plea, the defendant was taken to county jail prior to sentencing, and his attorney said that he was ready for his bond to be revoked.

In a car collision caused by the negligence of a driver that results in the death of another person, the victim's family may file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. The family may be able to obtain damages to cover final funeral and burial expenses.

Additional damages that may possibly awarded in a wrongful death action can include the loss of future earnings and support of the decedent as well as loss of consortium and companionship. A personal injury attorney can assist a victim's family through the filing of this type of legal action, which could result in a negotiated settlement or an award granted by a jury after a trial.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Penn Hills man pleads guilty to fatal drunken-driving crash on Route 28", Paula Reed Ward, Feb. 25, 2015

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Gregory R. Gifford
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