A Pottsgrove High School student was recently struck and killed while crossing the street. Police in Montgomery County learned that a Collegeville, Pennsylvania, man was behind the wheel of a vehicle that hit the 16-year-old boy, despite what Pennsylvania investigators were initially told about the car accident.
A woman who was riding in a vehicle involved in the auto accident swore to witnesses and authorities that she had been operating the car. The woman's two children and boyfriend were in the car and repeated the same story for investigators. Both adults signed written statements confirming the accident details.
During subsequent police interviews, the adults admitted they lied and coached the children to give false accident information. The man who tried to pretend he was a front-seat passenger had been drinking before getting in the vehicle. The suspect also had a previous out-of-state conviction for a 2004 vehicular homicide involving a pedestrian.
Police reports said the accused man was tailgating another car near an intersection, when the driver of the vehicle in front activated a right turn signal. The suspect then swerved left to move around the car and struck the pedestrian who was crossing the road.
The Collegeville man faces multiple charges in addition to homicide, including reckless driving and speeding. He and his girlfriend are charged with unsworn falsification, insurance fraud, conspiracy, false reports and corruption of minors.
Further, the accused man could also face wrongful death charges in a Pennsylvania civil court. In similar situations, individuals that lost a loved one in a car accident have been able to financially recoup in a similar manner.
In civil case, a jury could decide that a decedent's surviving family is owed compensation for an avoidable tragedy. Among the damages a jury could award are burial and funeral expenses. The costs are often a small way to give some sense of justice for parents who expect their child to outlive them.
Source: articles.philly.com, "Two charged in accident that killed Pottsgrove teen," Carolyn Davis, Dec. 11, 2012