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Cause of New York fatal accident remains up in the air

Single vehicle accidents are some of the most common motor vehicle accidents across the country. In many cases, these accidents occur late at night, with few witnesses. In a recent fatal accident in upstate New York, the driver of a car and her passenger were killed, and police did not initially disclose many details surrounding the accident’s cause.

Police say the accident occurred around midnight in Tioga County. It is believed that a vehicle driven by a 54-year-old woman crashed into a guardrail on a bridge. No information has been released as to whether any other motorists saw the accident or whether other individuals were involved.

The driver and her passenger, a 34-year-old man, sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by rescue officials. Police are continuing to investigate the accident. It is unclear when police expect to finish their investigation or at what time they will release a final accident report.

Although it remains unclear exactly what caused this New York fatal accident, there is a reasonable probability that police are focusing on the probability that the driver lost control of her vehicle. If the police investigation documents that she did so negligently, the surviving family of the passenger has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim in a New York civil courtroom. While authorities did not disclose the nature of any relationship between the two victims, they did not share the same last name. It is too soon to determine what legal steps, if any, the families involved may wish to consider, and each would likely benefit from gaining an understanding of our state law concerning their legal rights and responsibilities following this tragedy.

Source: WSJ.com, “Police: 2 dead in upstate NY car accident,” Oct. 17, 2012