A 27-year-old man has confessed to drinking as many as five cocktails at a party in Trenton prior to driving his vehicle home to Camden last June. Tragically, he entered Route 29 traveling the wrong way and collided with another vehicle. A fatal drunk driving accident ensued, which claimed the life of a father and his 7-year-old daughter who were riding in the vehicle that was struck. Tragically, the accident occurred on Father's Day.
The alleged drunk driver is currently facing two counts of vehicular homicide and a count of assault with a vehicle. If he is convicted of these charges, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years for each count, meaning that he could spend the next 30 years behind bars. He has also been accused of DWI, and this DWI arrest is not his first. The man was arrested for DWI only two weeks prior to this Father's Day drunk driving accident.
Another complication involved in this case is that the alleged drunk driver is a citizen of Mexico and has apparently been residing in the United States illegally for the last four years. As a result of his status as a foreign national, the judge presiding over the man's case determined he is a flight risk and set his bail at $400,000. At this time, he is being held by United States immigration authorities.
Given the fact that this man's alleged drunk driving caused the death of a father and his 7-year-old daughter, family members of the victims may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim against him. The viability of pursuing these claims, however, may hinge on whether this Mexican national was covered by car insurance at the time of the accident. Unfortunately, as in many Trenton drunk driving accident cases, the extent of monetary damages that injured parties can pursue is often limited by a defendant's personal assets and/or insurance coverage. This important element may be a crucial factor in determining whether to proceed with a civil lawsuit. In assessing what legal steps to take in the aftermath of a fatal accident such as this one, it may also be worthwhile to investigate any insurance coverage of the deceased victim, particularly if uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage was included as part of the policy.
Source: nj.com, Judge maintains bail for driver in fatal Father's Day crash on Route 29 in Hamilton, Alyssa Mease, Jan. 6, 2014