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Virginia man faces prison for wrongful death car crash

A Virginia man has learned the hard way that drinking and driving don't mix. He pleaded guilty to DUI involuntary manslaughter and hit-and-run involving a death in connection with a fatal car accident that occurred on December 23, 2012.

The Culpeper County resident, 33, was driving a Ford pickup southbound on U.S. 17 in Fauquier when it rear-ended a Scion driven by a Stafford resident, 53. The force of the collision pushed the Scion into a Honda, then both the Ford and the Scion went off the road. The Scion driver was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, a 59-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Fairfax Hospital.

The Ford driver ran from the scene and evaded law enforcement officers until January 9, when he was arrested in Culpeper. He was identified through DNA left on the deployed air bag in his vehicle. County prosecutors had to convene a special grand jury to question the accused man's friends about his whereabouts. Sentencing in the fatal car crash is scheduled for October.

Survivors of the man killed in the accident may be entitled to compensation for his wrongful death. His injured passenger may also be entitled to compensation for her injuries under Virginia's personal injury laws. Their claims may not be cut and dried, however, as the defendant, since he is an illegal immigrant, may not have car insurance, which is the usual source for injury compensation. In cases like this, the victim and survivors may want to contact a personal injury attorney to find out what their options are. A car accident attorney can advise victims what they must do to claim the compensation and will make sure the victims' rights are protected.

Source: Fredericksburg.com, "Culpeper man pleads guilty to fatal December crash", Scott Shenk, July 30, 2013

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