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Pennsylvania man sentenced for causing fatal accident

A judge ordered jail time as part of a sentence to a Pennsylvania man after a no contest plea to a fatal accident. The man said he did not remember the incident, which is why he did not plead guilty. He apparently felt he could not accurately confess to causing the fatal accident since he couldn't remember it, but he also had no defense for his alleged actions.

Police reports of the incident state that the man was driving recklessly and over the posted speed limit and hit a pickup truck, which caused his car to fly in the air and hit another pickup truck upon landing. A female passenger in the man’s car was flung from her seat out of the car, where she died. The man and all four occupants of the second truck were injured. It was discovered the man’s blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit.

Even though the man had no recollection of the events that took place, the district attorney’s office apparently had enough evidence to prove his guilt. In addition to the jail time, which could be up to 10 years, he will have to fulfill numerous hours of community service and pay fines and restitution fees. Because of his plea, some of the counts on several of the charges against him were dismissed by the prosecution.

In this case, the no contest plea means that the man will be held responsible for the drinking and reckless driving which caused the fatal accident. Should his passenger’s family decide to file a lawsuit against him, it is their right to do so under the Pennsylvania legal system. The family would be able to file a civil suit that would recoup losses due to burial and legal costs and future earning potential.

Source: thetimes-tribune.com, "Scranton man sent to state prison for fatal wreck in Schuylkill County", Peter E. Bortner, May 22, 2014

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