A 41-year-old Pennsylvania man is facing six criminal charges, including homicide by vehicle, in connection with a May 13 car accident that killed a Bethlehem Township man. Authorities believe that the Allentown man was under the influence of opiates at the time of the crash.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, the victim had parked his sedan on the shoulder of eastbound Route 22 near the ramp for Route 309 and was standing behind the car when a pick-up truck struck him. Records indicate that the driver of the truck was on his way to a motel after his workday ended. He was northbound on Route 309 and merging onto Route 22 when he hit the car on the shoulder.
The pedestrian was pinned between the two vehicles and died from his injuries. The driver of the truck was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg where his blood was drawn and analyzed. The resulting toxicology report indicated the presence of methadone and other opiates. In addition to homicide by vehicle, the man is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle while DUI and causing a fatal accident while driving without a valid license. He also faces three counts for traffic violations.
When a driver is criminally charged following a fatal car accident, the accused may also be named in a wrongful death claim brought by the representative of the decedent’s estate. Testimony and evidence presented during criminal proceedings may affect any civil case that may arise. A personal injury attorney could assist the plaintiff in such a case by gathering and reviewing evidence, including police reports and medical records, and negotiating to settle the claim. The attorney may also provide representation in court in the event that negotiations do not result in a satisfactory settlement offer.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “Driver was high before striking car, fatally pinning man on Route 22, cops say”, Sarah Cassi