A West Orange man is dead after a fatal crash on Interstate 81, according to local sources. The car accident is being attributed to drunk driving on the part of the other driver involved, as New York police have reported. The accident is still under investigation, but the woman has been arrested and charged with several infractions as of this writing.
Police say the man, a 58-year-old, was traveling southbound on I-81 in the early morning of May 8 when the accident occurred. A woman police believe was drunk at the wheel was traveling north in the southbound lanes when her vehicle struck his head-on. The force of the impact caused her to suffer minor injuries, for which she was treated at a local hospital.
However, the other driver did not fare so well — he was pronounced dead at the scene by arriving medical teams. The woman involved has now been charged with DUI, vehicular manslaughter and aggravated unlicensed operation. She is currently in custody with bail set at $500,000. No court date has yet been announced in connection with this case.
If the woman is found guilty of drunk driving and the other charges filed against her, she could lose her license permanently and possibly face jail time for her role in the fatal car accident. Separately, New York law will permit the family of the deceased man to sue the woman for wrongful death in a civil court setting, possibly using the evidence from the criminal case to support their claim. While a guilty verdict is not necessary for the civil case to succeed, it would certainly go a long way toward ensuring that financial liability is established.
Source: West Orange NY Patch, “West Orange Man Killed in Fatal Central New York Car Crash“, Nicholas Cardoso, May 11, 2015