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Overnight New Jersey 1-car crash becomes pedestrian fatality

One person’s wrong decision to drink and drive can affect a lot of people. Sometimes the person who makes a bad choice doesn’t suffer a great physical injury because of it, but someone else – an innocent party – does. New Jersey laws ensure victims of drunk driving accidents have a legal voice.

A 25-year-old Mendham man recently lost control of a BMW on an early Sunday morning, after other drivers reported seeing the car move erratically down Route 287. New Jersey state troopers believe the driver was intoxicated when his car bounced off a left guardrail, spun right into the opposite guardrail and stopped in the middle of the road. Two other vehicles soon became part of the car accident and a man, one of the drivers, died.

A 47-year-old Sparta resident, accompanied by his wife, was driving along the same road when his Mercedes-Benz crashed into the BMW. Police said the Mercedes driver got out of his car and was standing on the roadway when a third vehicle came along. The Chevy Tahoe struck the Mercedes and collided with the pedestrian, killing him.

The three surviving accident victims were hospitalized with minor injuries. The BMW driver was charged with DWI. Authorities said more charges are pending the investigation’s outcome.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported — despite increased driver awareness, tougher drunk-driving laws and enforcement nationwide — the number of DWI traffic fatalities rose across the U.S. between 2011 and 2012. The lives of 10,322 people were lost in 2012, in accidents that largely were caused by heavily intoxicated drivers. New Jersey was among the states with fewer overall fatalities and DWI deaths.

More New Jersey drivers may be aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. That doesn’t change the pain for victims suffering now because of others’ poor choices. However, negligent drivers can be held accountable through criminal and civil actions.

Source: NJ.com, “Man killed in 3-car crash on Route 287 in Bernards Twp., State Police say” Justin Zaremba, May. 18, 2014

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