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Police dispatcher faces DWI in fatal pedestrian accident

A dispatcher for Absecon police in New Jersey was charged with DWI after he fatally struck a man around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 6 in Galloway. More charges were pending a complete investigation.

The 36-year-old dispatcher was heading south in a sedan when he drove onto the shoulder and hit a 29-year-old man. The pedestrian died on the scene. After the driver was taken into custody, he was suspended with pay pending an investigation under the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Galloway Township Police Fatal Accident Unit.

Pedestrian accidents generally have a higher probability of causing serious and fatal injuries to the pedestrians involved than traffic accidents involving two passenger cars. Many pedestrian accidents occur because drivers do not see the individuals walking, jogging or running alongside the road. Drivers might also ignore or not pay attention to road signs and signals. Although more uncommon, pedestrians are sometimes at fault as well.

When a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident, the individual’s spouse and children could be entitled to recover damages. It may be beneficial for the survivors to speak with a lawyer before talking to the at-fault driver’s insurance company because the insurer could try to get them to say anything that makes it sound like the pedestrian was also at fault.

In New Jersey, pedestrians who are deemed at least 51 percent at fault are ineligible to recover damages, which may leave the survivors in financial turmoil. A lawyer might prevent the insurer from calling while helping the survivors protect their rights. The survivors could also receive support and advice in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: NJ.com, “N.J. police dispatcher charged with DWI in deadly pedestrian crash, report says,” Noah Cohen, Feb. 8, 2015

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