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Young family killed in tragic New Jersey crash

A tragic chain reaction car accident killed a young family this month on Route 80 in New Jersey. The couple, who were just 21 and 24, were traveling with their daughter, who was just a year-and-a-half old. The couple was expecting another child in December.

According to New Jersey State Police, the crash occurred near milepost 34.7 of the interstate in the very early morning hours of Saturday, July 11. They say that a 22-year-old man from Mountain Lakes who was driving a Cadillac Escalade struck the family's Kia. The driver of the Kia had reportedly stopped due to traffic near an area where highway construction was being done.

The Kia then reportedly hit a Jeep that was stopped in front of it. The Kia caught fire, killing all three occupants, who were pronounced dead at the scene. Meanwhile, the Escalade went off the road and overturned on a grass embankment.

The couple, who had been engaged for two years, lived in Kentucky. However, the 21-year-old woman was born and raised on Long Island. She had reportedly put her plans for a career in media production on hold when she had her child. Her fiance, who was reportedly doing well at his job, had planned to go back to college.

Particularly frustrating is the fact that the driver who allegedly struck the young family's car had accumulated nearly 20 motor vehicle violations over the past two years. These included charges and citations for reckless driving, unsafe operation of a vehicle and speeding.

With this accident, he is now facing multiple charges involving assault and death by auto, causing injury or death while driving with a suspended license and DUI. He is also charged with having drug paraphernalia in his possession.

Families who lose loved ones to drunk and impaired drivers no doubt want to see justice done in criminal court. However, they also have the option to seek civil damages against at-fault drivers in order to get compensation to cover burial costs, lost wages and other damages that are part and parcel of losing a loved one in such a sudden and senseless manner.

Source: NJ.com, "Victims of fiery Route 80 crash were family from Kentucky," Kimberly Redmond, NJ Advance Media, July 17, 2015

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