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New Jersey woman killed by own vehicle in car accident

Most of us have had our car break down on a roadway or needed roadside assistance at some point in our lives. For many New Jersey drivers, when a motor vehicle breaks down, it requires the assistance of a tow truck to help move the vehicle and potentially take the vehicle to a mechanic. When the tow truck arrives, it may seem like the end of the accident situation -- but was not the case for a fatal car accident that occurred after a tow truck arrived to provide assistance to one woman.

The actual car accident happened near New Jersey in March 2011. A woman was driving on a snowy night when she required the assistance of a tow truck. The tow truck arrived and began to assist the woman, who was standing outside of her vehicle. While the tow truck driver was backing up and attached to the woman's vehicle, the tow truck driver hit the woman with her vehicle. The collision happened when the woman was hit by an open door on her vehicle. When the woman was hit by the door, the force threw her to the ground. The woman died as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.

As with many car accidents, there is a potential for civil liability, criminal culpability or both. In this case, the investigation of the car accident proved the tow truck driver was drunk when he arrived to assist the woman. The tow truck driver was criminally charged with homicide by motor vehicle and has recently sentenced to 4 to 8 years in prison. The tow truck driver may also face civil liability for the woman's death. The family of the woman could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the tow truck driver.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Pa. tow truck driver gets prison in fatal accident," Nov. 2, 2012

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