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October 2016

Driver charged in fatal Halloween car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

A driver believed responsible for the deaths of three trick-or-treaters in 2015 has been charged with negligent homicide and manslaughter. New York authorities allege the man was off his epilepsy medication at the time of the car accident. His trial is set to begin shortly. 

According to the accident report from October 2015, the man experienced a seizure while driving, causing him to accelerate rapidly onto a sidewalk full of pedestrians in Morris Park. The vehicle was moving at approximately 60 mph when it struck a bus, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic and then onto the sidewalk. Three people were killed, including a 10-year-old girl, a 65-year-old army veteran and a 24-year-old man.

The authorities have alleged the man was not on his proper medication for his epilepsy when the crash occurred. The man also reportedly lied on his driver’s license application to cover the fact that he suffers from epilepsy. This, combined with his refusal to take his medication as prescribed, may place the blame for this accident on him. He is currently awaiting trial on $75,000 bond. 

While medical conditions sometimes excuse individuals from responsibility in a car accident situation, when the individual is consciously avoiding treatment for an existing condition that makes the driver a danger on the road, responsibility for a resulting accident appears clear. In this case, New York authorities have already criminally charged the man with a litany of crimes. Separately, the families of the deceased victims are in a good position to file wrongful death lawsuits against him in civil court. Even if he is not convicted in criminal court, the civil suits likely stand a good chance of success. 

Source: New York Daily News, “Driver in deadly trick-or-treater crash to face manslaughter rap“, Ben Kochman, Oct. 19, 2016


Drunk driving believed to be cause of New York car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, October 24th, 2016

A devastating crash on Long Island miraculously caused no fatalities, but several people were still hurt. New York police have arrested a 27-year-old driver who they believe was responsible for the car accident. The man faces drunk driving charges for his role in the crash. 

According to the accident report. the 27-year-old man was driving a convertible in Rockville Centre when the crash occurred. The man struck another vehicle head on, causing his car to overturn and shearing off the back of the other vehicle. A rear tire on the impacted vehicle detached and struck a windshield of a tractor-trailer which was thankfully parked at the time of the impact. 

The driver and his 25-year-old passenger were both injured and had to be extricated from the vehicle. They were taken to local hospitals, he for head and leg injuries and she for a lower leg injury. The driver of the other vehicle, who was not publicly identified by police, suffered internal injuries of unknown severity and was also taken to a local hospital. Police have charged the 27-year-old with DWI, reckless endangerment and driving, criminal mischief and assault. 

If the man is found guilty of the charges against him, he will likely face jail time for his role in the car accident. Separately, New York law allows the injured parties to file personal injury lawsuits against him in civil court. These suits may use the evidence collected by police to further the claim in civil court in the hope of being awarded damages for all financial losses.

Source: NBC4i.com, “Car split completely in half after drunk driving crash; everyone survives“, Oct. 15, 2016


New York firefighter charged in car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, October 21st, 2016

An off-duty FDNY fire fighter has been arrested following a crash on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens on the evening of Oct. 12. New York police arrested the man and have charged him with DUI as well as several other charges for his role in the car accident. His arraignment was pending as of this report. 

Officials report the man rear-ended a car before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. Police caught up with him near La Guardia airport when he got stuck in traffic. He was arrested without incident, but he apparently refused to comply when police asked him to take a Breathalyzer test. 

The occupant of the vehicle he hit, who has not been publicly identified by police at this time, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. That individual is said to have suffered minor back and neck injuries. The fire fighter faces charges of driving while intoxicated, refusing a Breathalyzer test and fleeing the scene of an accident. 

There is a good possibility that the fire fighter will be suspended from duty pending his arraignment. If he is found guilty, he could lose his job and might face jail time for his role in the car accident. In addition, New York state law allows the injured party to file a personal injury suit in civil court. While minor neck and back injuries may not sound serious, there is a potential for such injuries to manifest more seriously as time goes on. Filing a personal injury suit directly following the injury can be considered proactive in this case, as any financial damages that are won can then be applied to the injuries at a later time if needed. 

Source: New York Daily News, “Firefighter arrested for driving drunk, hitting car in Queens“, Thomas Tracy, Oct. 13, 2016


Car accident claims 1 life in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

An 18-year-old woman is dead following a tragic accident in Latham, according to local police. The woman New York authorities say is responsible for the crash may have been drunk at the time of the car accident that claimed the young woman’s life. Accident reconstruction is still underway, and no new court date has yet been set in this case. 

The accident report is preliminary at this time, but it appears to confirm that a 41-year-old woman was headed eastbound when she collided with a vehicle also headed eastbound and driven by a 38-year-old woman. This impact sent the older woman’s vehicle into the oncoming lane, where she struck two more cars. The second vehicle was being driven by the victim. 

Several people were taken to local hospitals for treatment, as well as the 41-year-old woman herself. The 18-year-old driver died of her injuries. Police believe alcohol was a factor in this crash, and officials are waiting on toxicology reports to corroborate that belief. The 41-year-old woman is currently free on $75,000 bail. 

The tragedy of this car accident cannot be overstated, as the loss of a young person to such a senseless crime as DUI is perhaps even more devastating than a crash that truly was an accident. New York authorities will pursue this matter and file criminal charges if appropriate. The family of the deceased woman is also entitled to file its own charges in civil court, in this case for wrongful death. Police evidence can be used to support such a civil case. 

Source: CBS Albany, “Police arrest woman, charged after four car crash that killed a Waterford teen“, Hubert Wiggins, Oct. 11, 2016


Car accident kills tow truck driver in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, October 14th, 2016

In an accident that has served to bring the state’s Move Over law into harsh focus, a tow truck driver has tragically lost his life while assisting a disabled vehicle. New York authorities responded to the car accident that claimed the life of a 51-year-old man. The crash is still under investigation, and so far no charges have been filed against the other driver involved in the accident. 

The accident report confirms the tow truck driver was in the process of assisting a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the New York State Thruway around 6:00 a.m. the morning of Oct. 10 when the crash occurred. Apparently a tractor-trailer failed to move out of the way of the man as he was working on the other vehicle and struck him. The tow truck driver died at the scene of severe injuries. 

The state’s Move Over law requires drivers who see an accident or a disabled vehicle to move well out of the way of the incident in order to allow workers, like the tow truck driver, the space to safely assist in the situation. Law enforcement officials have admitted that despite the emphasis placed on this law, many drivers do not comply. In this situation, they say adherence to this law may have saved the driver’s life. 

As a result, it is possible the driver of the tractor-trailer may face charges pertaining to this car accident. Even if no charges are filed, New York state law allows the family of the deceased tow truck driver to file a wrongful death suit against the other driver and possibly the company he is employed by. Bringing up the Move Over law in civil court may help to see such a suit succeed. 

Source: news10.com, “Tow truck driver killed while assisting disabled vehicle on Thruway“, Rachel Yonkunas, Oct. 10, 2016


Man killed, woman injured in wrong-way car accident in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

New York State Police have reported that one man has been killed in a tragic wrong-way accident in Nichols. Authorities say the car accident happened around 3 p.m. the afternoon of Oct. 4. The accident appears to have been the result of a driver traveling the wrong way. 

According to state troopers, they were responding to a call about a driver headed the wrong direction on State Route 17. The driver was said to have been traveling west in the eastbound lanes. As a result, the car crashed head-on into a vehicle headed east. Both vehicles were seriously damaged by the time troopers arrived. 

The wrong-way driver was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. He was identified as a 90-year-old man from Elmira. The other driver, a 65-year-old woman, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Reconstruction teams are still trying to determine why the elderly man entered the wrong lane, and an autopsy is slated to help determine not only his cause of death, but whether he was on medication at the time of the crash. 

It is incumbent upon any driver in New York State to exercise caution and pay special attention to their surroundings when operating a motor vehicle. In the case of this car accident, a number of issues may have caused the older driver to enter the wrong lane. While no criminal charges are filed posthumously, the injured woman may wish to take the case to civil court where she could file for personal injury based on police evidence pertaining to the wrong-way crash. 

Source: wbng.com, “Man, 90, dies in wrong way crash on Route 17”, Oct. 6, 2016


Man pleads guilty in fatal New York car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, October 7th, 2016

A tragic accident in December 2015 left a 5-year-old boy dead. The man police charged with being responsible for the fatal car accident is from New York, and he recently pleaded guilty in court for his role in the crash. The plea was issued on Sept. 29, and sentencing will begin on Jan. 19. Until that time, the man is being held in custody. 

According to the original accident report, the man was drunk when he crashed his vehicle into a guard rail on a highway in another state. The force of the impact propelled his vehicle into another car, and the 5-year-old was a passenger in that vehicle. The boy was declared dead as a result of his injuries. 

Police charged the man with second-offense DUI and aggravated involuntary manslaughter. No sentence has yet been handed down, but it seems likely jail time will be included in the sentence. It is unclear whether any of the other occupants of the vehicle involved in the crash were injured, but those individuals, if they exist, will have their own legal recourse to pursue. 

Whether they be in New York or another state, parties injured in a car accident are entitled to file personal injury lawsuits against the driver or drivers who contributed materially to the crash. Similarly, the family of the deceased child is entitled to file a wrongful death suit in civil court. While criminal charges and/or convictions are not required for such suits to be filed, the fact that police have charged the man with DUI will only help bolster the claims made by the family and/or the injured parties should they choose to file civil suits. 

Source: NBC29, “New York Man Pleads Guilty to Fatal Augusta Co. Accident“, Sept. 30, 2016


3-car accident kills 16-year-old in New York state

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

A tragic accident claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy in Cicero in the early morning of Oct. 3, according to local authorities. Central New York police responded to the fatal car accident just after 6:30 a.m. Police are still in the process of determining what caused the crash, and they have not yet filed charges against anyone involved. 

The accident report confirms that a 16-year-old boy was headed northbound on Interstate 81 when the accident occurred. For reasons not yet known, his vehicle crossed the grassy median into the southbound lanes, where it collided head-on with another vehicle. His car was then struck by a van. 

The 16-year-old and his passenger, another 16-year-old boy, were both rushed to a local hospital in Syracuse. The passenger was pronounced dead later that day, and the driver is still listed as being in critical condition. The driver of the other car is listed as in stable condition as of this report, and there was no word on whether the driver of the van was injured. The crash is still under investigation at this time. 

It will be up to New York police to determine what caused the boy to lose control of the vehicle. If it is determined he was operating the car in a negligent or reckless fashion, or if he was intoxicated at the time of the car accident, the family of the deceased passenger would have grounds to file a wrongful death suit against the boy’s family and anyone with ownership interest in the vehicle. Such a suit does not require police to file a criminal charge against the boy. 

Source: argus-press.com, “Cops: Central NY boy, 16, killed in 3-vehicle crash on I-81”, Oct. 4, 2016