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Fatal accident kills 1 in New York

A retired police officer is facing charges following a serious crash in Carmel, according to local sources. The 57-year-old has been charged by New York authorities with several infractions, including driving under the influence and felony 2nd degree vehicular manslaughter after the fatal accident that killed a 54-year-old woman. So far, no court date has been announced. 

According to the accident report, a 53-year-old woman driving an SUV was attempting to leave a parking lot when she failed to yield right-of-way to another vehicle, driven by the former officer. The man plowed into the side of the SUV, causing it to overturn. The 54-year-old victim was a passenger in the back seat, and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of that vehicle and her two other passengers were all taken to local hospitals with injuries described as non life-threatening. Both the former officer and his passenger were not hurt in the crash, but police attending the scene did determine the man was drunk at the time of the crash. While charges may be pending for the other driver for failing to yield, those charges pale in comparison to what faces the retired officer when his court date comes up.

Under New York law, the family of the deceased woman as well as the two injured passengers are entitled to file wrongful death and personal injury suits against both drivers involved in the fatal accident. However, it may be beneficial to center their attention on the former officer, especially if he is proved to have been drunk at the time. Criminal convictions, while not necessary to the success of a civil suit, are useful in pushing a civil case forward. 

Source: Southeast-Brewster, NY Patch, “DWI Charge for Retired Cop in Fatal Crash“, Lanning Taliaferro, Nov. 16, 2015