Even what seems like a simple car accident can become a complicated matter during the course of an investigation and litigation. New Jersey prosecutors felt that they had found the individual responsible for the death of an “American Idol” star killed in a car accident because a suspect had confessed to being responsible for the accident. However, it now seems that there is not enough evidence in order for the most serious charges to stick.
The individual in question had been charged with drunken driving and fleeing arrest, but a charge for aggravated manslaughter had been dismissed. Apparently there has never been any physical evidence shown connecting the individual charged with the circumstances of the accident.
This is really not as unusual as it first might seem. Witnesses are often confused about what they’ve actually seen. Particular details go unnoticed. Under stress to make a plea deal, suspects often confess and then later recant their confession. Those investigating the accident may simply have made their mind up as to how an accident occurred and ignored other possible causes. Sometimes the incident is not resolved without someone knowledgeable about motor vehicle accidents bringing together enough resources to determine exactly how the accident did occur.
What’s unfortunate about the above circumstance is that family members of the deceased are still waiting to discover exactly how their loved one was killed. There often is no closure for these individuals until the exact details of how the accident occurred are revealed. Also, the possibility exists that the person responsible for the accident is still driving on the roads undiscovered.
Source: The Washington Post, “NJ man pleads guilty to charges stemming from traffic death of ‘American Idol’ contestant,” Nov. 29, 2011