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New Jersey woman ejected into Shark River dies in Belmar crash

Few traffic collisions happen because drivers crash on purpose. Bergen County at-fault drivers may not set out to cause a car accident, but New Jersey laws can hold them responsible for mistakes. While criminal charges depend upon proof of wrongdoing, civil cases are concerned with negligence.

Negligence doesn’t require intent. In fact, in many cases, a lack of intent is the cause for victims’ pain and suffering. The driver didn’t care enough about being alert, slowing down or staying sober to protect himself of others from serious injuries or death.

Monmouth County authorities are investigating an Easter fatality in Belmar. The two-car collision claimed the life of a Howell woman, who was a passenger in her boyfriend’s Honda Civic. The 26-year-old victim was thrown from the car in the violent crash and into the nearby Shark River.

Reports said the crash occurred at 2 a.m. The Civic hit a Kia Forte, when the boyfriend’s car entered Route 35 at the river bridge. The Honda kept moving after the collision and struck a curb. The car flipped, hit a traffic light and sailed into a riverside parking lot, where the passenger was ejected.

The couple in the Kia, a 30-year-old pregnant woman and her 26-year-old husband, was unhurt. The victim’s boyfriend was hospitalized with a head injury. The accident investigation included a toxicology test to determine whether the boyfriend was driving while intoxicated; no criminal charges were reported.

Drivers are often horrified to learn they’ve killed a stranger in an accident. The shock increases proportionately when the victim is someone the driver knew or cared about before the crash. On the other side of the story are the victim’s family members, who can’t believe a loved one’s companion could act so carelessly or recklessly.

Bergen County courts hold defendants responsible for unnecessary accident injuries and deaths. Plaintiffs are comforted by compensation and a public acknowledgment of fault.

Source: Asbury Park Press, “Easter morning crash in Belmar leaves Howell woman, 26, dead” Dan Radel and Josh Newman, Apr. 21, 2014

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