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Teen driver charged with murder after deadly Tempe crash

A 19-year-old man was charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a December crash that killed a 16-year-old girl. According to one source, the driver is suspected of driving while impaired. Blood tests conducted at the hospital were positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical in marijuana that causes impairment.

One witness suggested that the driver was recklessly weaving in and out of lanes in a manner that may have been intended to frighten the passengers. The witness also confirmed the driver's excessive speed. The witness claimed that he was traveling at about 80 mph when the accused driver passed him. Experts theorize that the excessive speed caused the victim's head to swing outside the car and connect with a bolt on the light pole that the car crashed into.

The witness' accounts of events just before the crash and the blood tests showing THC in the driver's system point to possible driver negligence. Other witnesses, the driver's friends, confirmed that he was weaving in and out of traffic as they tried to follow him on the freeway. This fatal accident also injured two other teenagers and a 21-year-old man, who sustained a fractured pelvis, vertebrae and ribs.

Witness accounts of the accident along with proof that the driver was impaired could be used to form a claim for wrongful death against the driver. In such a case, the decedent's family could gain compensation for the loss of their loved one. Additionally, passengers who were injured in the wreck could file personal injury claims.

Source: CBS5az.com, "Driver, 19, booked on murder charge in fatal I-10 crash", Steve Stout, December 17, 2014

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