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Phoenix man receives prison sentence for fatal crash

On Oct. 6, a 28-year-old man from Phoenix, Arizona, was driving the wrong way on State Route 51. His vehicle struck an SUV head-on. The crash resulted in the death of a 55-year-old New York woman who was a passenger in the car and serious injuries to the driver who was hospitalized for days after the accident. The Phoenix man also suffered injuries, but he recovered and was arrested after his release from the hospital.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. His sentence was determined on Aug. 15. He received 16 years in prison plus five years of supervised probation after his release. According to reports, drunk driving was a primary factor in the crash. The man had a blood alcohol content of .28 percent at the time of the accident, far above the legal limit of .08 percent. He also had two prior drunk driving convictions.

Head-on freeway collisions are often very serious accidents that can result in fatalities. When a fatal accident does occur, the surviving family members of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver responsible for the accident. Such a lawsuit will attempt to claim compensation for the loss in the form of damages. Damages come in the form of monetary compensation. Most damages in a wrongful death case are economic in nature. This can include damage to property, medical expenses and after-death expenses. It can also include the loss of future income and retirement accounts.

A wrongful death claim is considered separate from any criminal charges that may also be filed against the negligent driver. Evidence used in a criminal case, such as police reports and BAC levels, can also be used to prove negligence in the civil case.

Source: CNY Central News, 'Arizona man gets prison for causing crash that killed Oswego woman," Aug. 19, 2014.

Source: AZFamily.com, "Phoenix man gets prison in a fatal wrong-way crash ", August 15, 2014

Source: AZFamily.com, "Phoenix man gets prison in a fatal wrong-way crash ", August 15, 2014

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