A Pennsylvania State Police Trooper and a Cetronia Ambulance Corps paramedic gave testimonies in an August 6 preliminary hearing for a 19-year-old Walnutport woman who faces charges for a fatal collision on Route 145. The woman reportedly may have dozed off while driving, and the charges include involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and reckless endangerment.
The crash occurred around 8:30 a.m. on April 12 after the Walnutport woman finished an 11-hour shift at a store in a Whitehall Township mall, and she only slept for a few hours before her shift because she attended college classes in the morning and afternoon on April 11. Shortly after leaving work, her Hyundai Elantra swerved while traveling north and struck a Volkswagen Jetta traveling south near Neffs Laurys and Clearview roads. The trooper reported that her speedometer was stuck at 15 mph above the posted speed limit, and the paramedic said the teen admitted she might have fallen asleep.
The 65-year-old driver of Jetta died, and her passenger needed hospitalization. The Walnutport teen said that she did not remember the crash, but the officer’s testimony claimed there were no skid marks or signs that she tried to prevent the crash. The defense attorney said the teen still may have tried to break and that her speed may have been different from what the speedometer indicated, and these matters may be resolved after the accident reconstruction expert the defense hired is finished working.
When someone died because of another person’s negligent actions, the family of the victim might consider filing a wrongful death claim in civil court to receive compensation for funeral costs or even pain and suffering. Someone who falls asleep while driving may be liable for a car accident and other liable behavior such as speeding or texting while driving.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “Witnesses: Teen had little sleep before fatal Lehigh County wreck, says she dozed off”, Precious Petty , August 06, 2014