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Alleged New Jersey drunk driver injures teen skateboarder

When someone hits and injures another person with his or her vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the only thing that can make the situation worse is to flee the scene without calling for help, leaving the victim in the street. According to New Jersey law enforcement, that's what a 23-year-old man did after he hit a high school football player who was on a skateboard.

The accident occurred in the early morning hours of June 7 in Pennsville, which is in Salem County, New Jersey. The 17-year-old was reportedly returning from his girlfriend's house when he was struck by the 23-year-old man.

The driver was located by police based on parts of the car that were left in the road -- one of which included a serial number. The driver told police that he thought he had hit an animal. However, a witness to the crash says that the area was well lit, so he had to have known he struck a person. "As soon as they hit him they were right back on the gas and gone," according to the witness. Investigators say that the driver placed a tarp over the vehicle to cover the damages.

The defendant, who is facing charges including aggravated assault with an automobile, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident, reportedly admitted to drinking at several area bars prior to the crash. Police say they believe that two other men were possibly in the car when the hit-and-run occurred. However, that has not yet been confirmed.

The teen, who is scheduled to start his senior year in the fall, was last reported in critical condition. He suffered head injuries that required surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain. The local police chief says he believes that the young man also broke some vertebrae in his neck in addition to suffering leg injuries.

When a pedestrian, skateboarder or bicyclist is struck by a vehicle, the injuries can be severe enough to impact the rest of the victim's life. It's essential that when a victim or family members seeks civil damages, they take into account the expected costs of the injuries over the long run. These may include medical treatment, physical and occupational therapy and lost wages as well as pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: NBC10.com, "Police Arrest Hit-and-Run Driver Who Injured HS Football Player: Officials," Dan Stamm, David Chang and Morgan Zalot, June 09, 2015

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