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Truck driver charged with vehicular homicide

According to the New Jersey State Police, a truck driver who reportedly caused a deadly chain-reaction collision on the New Jersey Turnpike in June has been charged with third-degree hindering apprehension and second-degree vehicular homicide. In addition, he was issued summonses for improper use of a cellphone and reckless driving.

The driver was taken into police custody and being held in lieu of full cash bail of $50,000 in the Bergen County Jail. The truck driver was allegedly on his cellphone while driving his 1996 Kenworth tractor-trailer in the left lane. The vehicle in front of the truck slowed down due to traffic conditions. The truck did not slow down and struck the vehicle from behind. This caused a chain-reaction collision that killed one man and injured several other people.

If someone is convicted of distracted driving in connection with a serious accident, he or she may be facing severe consequences such as the loss of driving privileges, jail time, fines and probation. If the defendant's profession involves driving, such as a commercial truck driver, a conviction may have a negative impact on his or her career.

A criminal defense lawyer may review the circumstances surrounding the accident, police reports and the defendant's recollection of events to develop a defense strategy. For example, the accident may have been caused by a mechanical failure rather than distracted driving. If the lawyer can demonstrate that the accident was caused by something other than driver distraction, a jury may decide in the defendant's favor. The lawyer might suggest a plea bargain if the defendant does not wish to go to trial.

Source: Patch.com, "Tractor Trailer Driver Charged in Fatal Bergen Turnpike Crash", Caitlin Brown, August 02, 2014

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