A Lanoka Harbor man, 61, died after he was struck by a drunk driver on Nov. 10. According to reports, the pedestrian was carried on the hit-and-run driver's windshield for approximately a mile until the vehicle was stopped by police.
The 33-year-old Ocean County driver was taken into custody after the accident and charged with DUI and causing serious injury as well as leaving the scene of an accident. His charges were upgraded on Nov. 19 to include vehicular homicide. He was being held at an Ocean County jail. His bail, initially set at $150,000, was later increased to $250,000 cash.
According to police, the driver was heading north on U.S. Route 9 in Ocean Township when he allegedly hit the pedestrian who was walking on the shoulder of the road. Police were alerted to an erratic driver, pulled the vehicle over and discovered the pedestrian pushed into the windshield. The pedestrian was extricated from the windshield and airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center. He died on Nov. 17 of injuries he suffered in the crash.
Driving drunk in New Jersey and leaving a pedestrian accident scene are considered criminal acts. When an individual is killed because of negligent behavior, the family may wish to file a wrongful death suit against the driver believed to be responsible. While a civil suit is not dependent on criminal conviction, such information may be used to prove negligence.
In a similar situation, an attorney may help the family calculate the financial impact including medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and support the victim provided the family. Filing a wrongful death suit in civil court may help the family recover their monetary loss.
Source: NJ.com, 'Authorities: N.J. man who drove with pedestrian in windshield charged with vehicular homicide", Ashley Peskoe, Nov. 19, 2014
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Man accused in fatal crash faces upgraded charges", November 19, 2014