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Fatal Bergen County truck crash results in charges against driver

A tractor-trailer driver faces criminal charges after a car accident that left one man dead and several people injured on June 9. The 55-year-old man was allegedly using a cellphone at the time of the crash.

The accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike in Carlstadt shortly before 5 p.m. Police said that the man failed to slow down for traffic ahead of him because he was using his smartphone. His 1996 Kenworth tractor-trailer rear-ended a car ahead of him on the turnpike, causing a chain-reaction crash that involved several other cars. A 43-year-old Harrison man died in the crash, and several other people suffered undisclosed injuries.

The man was arrested on Sept. 31 on charges of second-degree vehicular homicide, and police held him until he posted $50,000 bail. He also faces one count of third-degree hindering apprehension, a charge that resulted from lies he allegedly told investigators about his cellphone use at the time of the accident. According to a Bergen County prosecutor, this case will be one of the first of its kind in the county as the investigation partially focused on the driver's cellphone use.

Drivers and passengers in cars are at high risk of suffering fatal injuries when they become involved in semi-truck accidents. Families that are affected by fatal distracted driving accidents often have difficulty paying for burial expenses, medical bills from attempts to save their loved ones' lives and other costs associated with a sudden death. Someone who loses a family member in a similar accident could file a wrongful death suit against the driver of the truck involved. Personal injury attorneys may be able to guide families through the process of filing suit after a fatal accident.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Trucker charged with vehicular homicide after alleged cellphone use led to fatal crash in Carlstadt", Stefanie Dazio and Abbott Koloff , August 01, 2014

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