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Alleged drunk driver kills New York hospital employee

A 36-year-old Long Island woman is facing drunk driving charges after she allegedly caused a fatal wrong-way crash on March 13. The accident happened just after midnight, according to Suffolk County police.

Authorities said the woman was traveling north on Route 25A in Smithtown when she veered into oncoming traffic, slamming into a Toyota Camry. The Camry driver, a 59-year-old Island Park man, was rushed to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center where he died. Apparently, the victim was returning home from his job as a supervisor in the radiology unit of the hospital when the crash occurred.

The suspect was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Officers said an initial field sobriety test indicated she was very intoxicated. The results of an official blood alcohol content level test are pending. The suspect has been charged with DWI, but authorities indicated the charges are expected to be upgraded. The crash investigation remains open.

Fatal wrong-way car collisions are often caused by a driver who is impaired, distracted or otherwise negligent. After the police investigation is completed, a deceased victim's family may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver with the aid of an attorney. By using accident investigation reports, toxicology results and other evidence, it may be possible to prove the negligent actions of a driver directly caused the death of their loved one. If the claim is successful, the victim's family may be awarded pecuniary damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of income and property damage. They may also be compensated for other damages such as loss of companionship.

Source: WABC, "Long Island man driving home from work killed in wrong-way crash with alleged drunk driver," N.J. Burkett, March 13, 2015

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