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Man arrested in wake of fatal accident

A Waterbury man was arrested last week for his role in a deadly car accident. According to reports, the 30-year-old driver caused a fatal accident last September when he crossed the centerline on Route 188 in Oxford. His Ford truck struck a Subaru Outback carrying a 32-year-old mother and her two young children.

The woman and her infant son were taken to Waterbury Hospital, treated for their injuries and released. Her three-year-old daughter, however, was airlifted to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, where she later died. The driver of the truck and his passenger sustained minor injuries.

While the man's responsibility for the incident has been fairly clear since the incident occurred, it took authorities almost six months to hand down criminal charges. No details were released, however, concerning what type of conduct escalated the man's negligence to criminal conduct.

Generally, making a mistake that causes an accident involving injuries is not cause for a criminal prosecution. Even if that negligence causes a death, authorities will not always pursue charges against the driver. In this case, however, prosecutors believe the man's conduct warrants charges of reckless driving and distracted driving, among others.

It is important to remind accident victims that this criminal prosecution in no way affects their ability to recover monetary compensation through the civil court system. While driver negligence may not always results in criminal responsibility, it almost always results in civil liability. Therefore, those bringing suits for wrongful death of a family member or injuries to themselves can assert a cause of action, no matter whether a crime was committed or not. Local Hartford attorneys who handle these types of cases can help victims understand and secure their rights.

Source: The Hartford Courant, "Waterbury Man Arrested in Connection With Fatal Accident," Feb. 22, 2014

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