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Drugs and fatigue are a recipe for negligence behind the wheel

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always illegal here in New Jersey just as it is across the country. Regardless, people still do it. Being impaired and fatigued is a form of negligence that is a recipe for disaster.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. on a recent Monday, a man and his daughter were slowing in lane 10 at a toll booth on the New Jersey Turnpike. Another vehicle, operated at high speed, rammed into the back of the man's car. The impact sent the father's car into the opposing lanes of traffic where his car was struck by yet another vehicle.

The 51-year-old and his 5-year-old daughter suffered fatal injuries in the crash. The driver of the car that rear-ended theirs suffered injuries for which he remained hospitalized at last report. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old man was placed under arrest in his hospital bed the day after the accident. When police interviewed the driver, he admitted that he had been awake since approximately 1 p.m. the day before the accident, which means that he had been without sleep for more than 24 hours when the crash occurred. Furthermore, he admitted to driving under the influence of a drug called Adderall.

These admissions could be used as evidence of the driver's negligence in wrongful death claims filed by the surviving family members of the two deceased victims. Fortunately, the family is not required to wait for any criminal proceedings in order to file claims in civil court. If they prevail, an award of damages could be entered to help with the financial losses incurred because of the premature deaths of the victims.

Source:, "Prosecutor: Driver in double fatal crash on NJ Turnpike admitted to being high on Adderall, not sleeping", Feb. 24, 2016

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