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Charges filed against driver in crash that killed student

An intoxicated driver whose passenger is killed in an auto accident can be held accountable in civil court, as well as in criminal court. With that in mind, Erie residents may want to consider the case of a 19-year-old man now facing charges for his role in a crash that took the life of a student at Penn State Behrend in Erie.

The single-vehicle crash happened in Dunbar Township back in June. The young woman, 19, was reportedly the only passenger in the pickup truck. According to a state trooper who investigated the accident, the young people had recently left a party when the crash occurred.

Police say that after the driver lost control of the vehicle, then it hit a guardrail and struck a tree. The truck came to a rest after turning 180 degrees, according to police.

The young man reportedly left the scene of the accident on foot. After police located him, test results showed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.11 percent. The limit for drivers under 21 years old is 0.02 percent, and the limit for drivers over age 21 is 0.08 percent.

The young woman was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh, but sadly she was pronounced deceased, having suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The driver faces a number of charges, and there was no word as to whether the family of the victim will pursue justice through a wrongful death claim. Such claims are filed to help grieving families receive compensation for damages resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one. Those damages may include medical expenses, funeral expenses and other costs resulting from another person's negligence.

Erie residents may want to follow this particular case as it progresses.

Source:, "Dunbar man charged in crash that killed college student," Paul Pierce, Jan. 4, 2014

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