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Teen pleads not guilty to death by auto charges

A high school senior appeared in a New Jersey courtroom on Sept. 17 to face charges stemming from a single-car accident that claimed the lives of two teenagers. The 17-year-old boy's attorney entered not guilty pleas to charges including two counts of death by auto in the second degree. The judge ordered that the boy continue to attend therapy sessions and refrain from operating a motor vehicle. The car accident took place in Randolph Township on July 26 at approximately 1:35 p.m.

The judge also ordered the boy to undergo evaluation for substance abuse, which led to his attorney facing questions about drug or alcohol use. The attorney was adamant that her client had not been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, but questions about drug use were left unanswered.

The accident occurred when the 17-year-old high school student failed to complete a turn while traveling on Ironia Road. The vehicle then ran off the road and struck a tree before coming to a rest. Two 17-year-old boys who had been passengers in the vehicle were killed by the impact. A third teenager was injured. Police blame the accident on careless driving and excess speed, and the teen driver was issued with six traffic citations.

Impaired, reckless or distracted drivers cause hundreds of accidents on the roads of New Jersey each year. Those injured in these accidents may pursue civil remedies even if the driver at fault faces no criminal sanctions. A personal injury attorney may manage a civil suit against negligent road users on behalf of their injured client. This kind of legal action could seek damages sustained in an accident in both economic and non-economic spheres.

Source: NJ.com, "Teen pleads not guilty in Randolph crash that killed two friends", Ben Horowitz, September 17, 2014

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