A man accused of being drunk behind the wheel is facing criminal charges following the death of his passenger, according to local sources. New York police have charged the 27-year-old man with DUI following a single-car accident that led to the death of his 29-year-old passenger. It is unclear whether the man is in police custody as of this writing.
According to first responders, the accident happened just before 6 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 4. The driver was headed southbound on a local roadway on Long Island when his vehicle left the road and he struck a tree. Both individuals were seriously injured in the impact and were rushed to a local hospital for treatment.
The 29-year-old passenger was pronounced dead later that day, and the driver was still being treated for serious injuries. Police say the man was drunk at the time of the accident and he was criminally charged. So far, no court date has been announced in connection with this case.
If New York prosecutors are able to prove the man’s intoxicated state at the time of the car accident, he could be convicted of the drunk driving charge. Regardless, he may also face further legal problems related to the fatality. In addition, the family of the deceased passenger will be entitled to file a wrongful death suit against the driver and any separate owner of the vehicle he drove. Even if a criminal conviction is not secured in criminal court, the evidence used in that trial can also be used to bolster a civil suit against the driver.
Source: CBS New York, “Police: Drunk Driver Crashes Car, Kills Passenger On L.I.“, , Oct. 4, 2014