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Truck driver who crashed into philanthropist pleads guilty

A truck driver who was driving a Mack truck when he rear-ended a philanthropist’s vehicle at a stoplight in West Windsor last year pleaded guilty to causing death by auto on Feb. 3. With the plea came an admission that the truck driver was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Lower Harrison Street and Route 1 on March 20, 2014. The philanthropist was stopped for a red light at the intersection. The truck driver apparently failed to stop, crashing into the vehicle. The man was killed, and his wife, who was a passenger, was seriously injured in the accident.

The plea came as a surprise as the man’s lawyer had previously indicated he was going to challenge the results of his blood-alcohol concentration test. Instead of scheduling a motions hearing, however, he entered a guilty plea. His results had come back as .07 percent, which, while lower than the state’s limit for drinking and driving, is above the limit of that allowed for commercial truck drivers, which is .04 percent. The man is scheduled to come back for sentencing on April 2, at which time he is expected to be sentenced to six years in prison. He is currently out of custody on a $150,000 bond.

Truck accidents can be especially catastrophic due to how large and heavy big trucks are. As a consequence, truck drivers must get special commercial licenses and are subject to stricter driving regulations and laws than those governing other drivers. When a truck driver is negligent and that negligence results in a fatal accident, the family of those killed may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, both the truck driver and the company may be held liable.

Source: The Trentonian, “Truck driver pleads guilty to DUI, death by auto in fatal West Windsor crash,” Isaac Avilucea, Feb. 3, 2015

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