According to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, a Camden man was charged in connection with an alleged DUI fatal accident that occurred on Oct. 4. Reports indicate the accident occurred around 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of Rosedale and Westfield Avenues.
Reportedly, the 74-year-old defendant was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer on Westfield when he allegedly struck another Camden man, a 53-year-old pedestrian, as the 53-year-old was crossing Westfield Avenue. While emergency medical responders transported the alleged victim to Cooper University Hospital for treatment, he was pronounced dead from his injuries after arrival.
A witness claimed to have seen the 74-year-old man exit the Explorer and walk unsteadily before collapsing to the ground. According to officers, the witness retrieved the man's keys and handed them over to law enforcement officers when they arrived. Officers indicated they saw several open containers of alcohol inside of the SUV. Upon testing the man's blood alcohol concentration, officers apparently learned the man tested a .21, which is almost three times the legal limit for driving in the state. Upon being notified of the charges, the defendant turned himself in on Dec. 31 to answer his charges.
A person who is struck in a pedestrian accident is much more likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries than are motor vehicle occupants. When a drunk driver strikes and kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the drunk driver may face both civil and criminal penalties for his or her negligence. Even if a person is criminally charged, the victim's family may still file a separate civil lawsuit for the same accident. Through a wrongful death suit, the victim's family could recover damages to compensate them for their losses. As a civil suit has a lower required burden of proof, a civil lawsuit may be successful even if a simultaneous criminal proceeding is not.
Source: Nj.com, "Camden man charged in DWI crash that killed pedestrian", Mark Daniels, January 03, 2015