A New Jersey teenager lost his life on the night of April 29 when he was struck by an intoxicated driver while riding his bicycle in Cumberland County. The fatal car accident took place on West park Drive in the vicinity of North Third Street in Vineland at approximately 8:30 p.m. The man behind the wheel of the SUV that struck the 18-year-old cyclist has been cited for reckless driving and faces criminal charges.
Field sobriety test
Police officers arrived at the scene of the car accident to discover an SUV with significant front-end damage and a wrecked bicycle in the westbound lane of West Park Drive. They determined that both the bicycle and SUV were traveling westbound at the time of the crash. Emergency services workers pronounced the cyclist dead at the scene. He was a local resident who cycled frequently in Vineland and knew the roads well according to media reports. Police took the 54-year-old man who struck the cyclist into custody because he performed poorly during a standardized field sobriety test.
One and a half times the legal limit
The man provided breath samples for toxicology analysis after being transported to a nearby police station. These tests revealed that he had a blood alcohol concentration of .12. This is one and a half times the legal driving limit in New Jersey. The case has been referred to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office. Initial reports indicate that the man has been charged with driving while intoxicated, but he could also face the more serious charge of vehicular manslaughter. This is a second-degree crime in New Jersey and carries a custodial sentence of between five and 10 years.
Wrongful death cases involving drunk drivers
Experienced personal injury attorneys may use police reports to establish negligence in wrongful death cases that involve intoxicated drivers. When the defendant in a wrongful death case is unable to make restitution because they face years in prison, attorneys could file a lawsuit against their insurance provider. If they are killed in the accident they caused, legal action could be taken against their estate.