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Driver in Halfmoon accident may be charged in deaths of teens

Unexpected death is naturally accompanied by grieving by the family and friends of those who died. That's especially true when death is caused by a fatal motor vehicle accident. Families, friends and classmates are grieving following a Dec. 1 car accident in Halfmoon, New York, just north of Albany, which claimed the lives of two 17-year-old Shenendehowa High School seniors.

According to police, a 22-year-old man driving a Volvo along the Northway just after 10 p.m. was speeding and quickly changing lanes when he rear-ended an SUV carrying the seniors and two other teens. While the Volvo came to a stop on the shoulder of the road, the SUV flipped several times before landing in the highway median. The seniors were killed, and the two other teens were hospitalized with bone fractures.

Police say the driver of the Volvo was going more than 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. The man tested positive for alcohol, but his blood-alcohol content won't be known until a toxicology test is completed. Possible charges could include criminally negligent homicide or vehicular manslaughter.

While these families grieve and try to heal, they should be aware that the legal process for this type of auto accident does not have to end with criminal prosecution. It is likely that family members of the children involved will consider filing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. This should also be a used as a learning experience for people who think they can own the road without putting anyone else's safety at risk.

Source: Cnweekly.com, "Shenendehowa High School mourns loss of two seniors; 22-year-old who allegedly caused car accident that killed them is likely to face charges," Caitlin Morris, Dec. 3, 2012

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