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Teenager dies in New Jersey chain-reaction crash

A driver crossed the centerline of a Hamilton Township road and triggered a fatal chain-reaction crash around 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 30. A 14-year-old Linwood girl who had been traveling with four other girls en route to a charity soccer game suffered critical injuries in the crash. All five girls were members of the soccer team at Mainland Regional High School. The other girls and the driver of a second truck were also hurt in the crash but soon released from medical care.

The accident occurred on Route 40 when a 39-year-old Vineland man who was eastbound in a pickup truck crossed the centerline into the westbound lane and hit a box truck driven by a 48-year-old man, also from Vineland. The box truck then hit a sedan occupied by the teenagers, pushing the car onto a lawn. The pickup truck left the road and caught fire after hitting several trees, but the driver was uninjured.

The critically injured teenager was kept on life support at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center until her death on Sept. 3. Her 18-year-old teammate, the driver of the Jetta, suffered what were described as moderate to severe injuries but was later released to her family. According to police, her driving behavior saved the other girls' lives.

A fatal car crash can leave a grieving family with many additional expenses. Funeral costs and hospital bills can further compound the stress of a family's loss. Even if investigators' findings do not lead to criminal charges against the driver who triggered the accident, a civil action could still be an option to help a family deal with the monetary damages suffered.

Source: NBC 10, "NJ Teen Soccer Player Dies Days After Chain-Reaction Crash," Sept. 3, 2014

Source: NBC Philadelphia , "14-Year-Old Seriously Injured in New Jersey Chain-Reaction Crash ", Dan Stamm and Alison Burdo, August 31, 2014

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