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New Jersey suspected drunk driver critically injures bicyclist

According to Bergen County police, a head-on collision between a pickup truck and a bicycle on Sept. 9 left the bicyclist in critical condition. The pickup truck driver is facing charges related to the crash and suspected drunk driving.

The accident happened around 5 p.m. when the pickup truck driver, after making a sharp left turn, hit the bicyclist head-on, according to authorities. The 62-year-old bicyclist struck his head after falling off the bike. He was taken to Paterson's St. Joseph's Medical Center. The report did not state whether he was wearing a helmet.

The driver, age 64, appeared intoxicated when the car accident happened, according to the Bergen County prosecutor. A blood sample has been submitted to determine if he was impaired. He was taken into custody and charged with assault by auto while intoxicated. Additionally, the man was cited for drunk and reckless driving. He was released on $25,000 bail.

Drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a cautious and responsible manner. A drunk driver may lack the judgment to drive safely. Driving drunk is illegal and enhances a driver's culpability both criminally and civilly. Even if a driver is not convicted on criminal charges, the damages to the injured party remain, including medical and rehabilitation costs, time away from work and property damage, which may be part of a civil suit against the driver.

A personal injury attorney in a similar case may help the plaintiff by reviewing accident and toxicology reports, as well as witness accounts, to determine the driver's negligence. The attorney may then file a personal injury suit on the individual's behalf in an attempt to recover compensation for damages.

Source: NJ.com, "Mahwah man charged with DWI in crash that critically injured bicyclist, prosecutor says", Noah Cohen , September 10, 2014

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