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New Jersey man accused of distracted driving faces charges

An accident took place in Vineland, New Jersey, that resulted in charges on July 11 for a Millville resident. The accident occurred on February around 9:45 p.m. near the intersection of Grant Avenue and Delsea Drive. Reports indicate that the 20-year-old Millville man may have been actively texting at the time of the incident. Police believe that he was not focused on the road, and authorities contend that this is why his Subaru collided with the Chevrolet driven by a 49-year-old Vineland resident. Both drivers were transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment. Reports indicate that the Vineland man died because of his injuries.

The Millville man is now facing vehicular homicide charges. An investigation by the Vineland Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit following the accident showed the record of texting activity that was ongoing at the time of the collision, and a search warrant for the information on the cellphone was obtained by the police.

More communities are considering texting while driving to be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. This has prompted cities throughout the U.S. to pass laws imposing penalties on drivers who are charged with texting while driving, especially if they are involved in an accident. People found guilty also may be held responsible for the death or injuries of other people.

While the state may press criminal charges against texting drivers who cause accidents, the family members of victims may be able to bring a wrongful death suit in civil court for personal damages such as lost wages and medical bills. The outcome of one case is not dependent on the other, so individuals can pursue legal action even if the state does not file charges.

Source: NJ.com, “Texting while driving caused fatal Vineland auto accident, police say“, Don E. Woods, July 23, 2014

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