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Fatal car accident: 18-year-old charged in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin an 18-year-old male was recently charged with homicide for his role as the driver in a fatal car accident. The teenager was said to be driving with four other passengers in the car. All four passengers died in the Feb. 18 crash. It is unknown exactly how the car accident happened, but witnesses state they saw the car speeding and being driven recklessly. The car was found overturned at the intersection of Lacy and Syene roads in Madison.

While police attempted to assist the four passengers, the 18-year-old exited the vehicle and walked away from the scene of the accident. A fire-fighter went after the young man and returned him to the crash site. Another firefighter stated the man initially said he did not remember driving and insisted he was a passenger. Abrasions found on the man's left shoulder were consistent with a driver wearing a seat belt. A young woman who had ridden in the car earlier stated the 18-year-old always drove his car and had phoned her from the hospital stating he was in a car accident.

The driver was found to have alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in his system, according to authorities. He is facing numerous charges in addition to homicide by intoxicated driving. Those charges include four counts of failure to render aid resulting in death, four counts of driving without a valid license causing death, and obstructing police.

As the criminal case moves forward, the families of the four deceased victims are likely still reeling in grief. They most probably want answers to explain how such a tragic and senseless car accident could have occurred. While criminal charges penalize a driver, they do not always answer the needs of the victims or their families. This is where the civil system steps in and provides a route for compensation after the reckless actions of another.

Sadly, what has already occurred cannot be undone, and it is hoped the families find the strength to cope with seemingly unimaginable pain. Whether they choose to pursue wrongful death claims seeking full civil accountability for any negligence in addition to the criminal charges, their lives have been inalterably changed by the horrific collision.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, "Driver charged with homicide in quadruple fatal crash in February," Ed Treleven, May 21, 2012

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