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Florida driver charged in fatal car wreck

A Florida man has been apprehended and is facing charges in connection with an intoxicated driving accident that killed two teens. The young driver, age 23, is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, along with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage in connection with the serious car accident. That driver is currently in custody in lieu of a $100,000 bail.

Authorities report the July 26, 2012 wreck on Interstate 95 killed a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old male student. Two other victims, ages 20 and 30, were also injured in the crash. In all, the collision involved three vehicles.

Post-crash evaluation showed that the at-fault driver in the case had two significant medications in his bloodstream at the time of the incident. Not only was he taking oxycodone, which is a high-powered painkiller, but it also appears that the man was under the influence of the strong anti-anxiety medication, alprazolam. The amount of that drug in the man's system exceeded normal doses for prescribed medication, indicating that he was abusing the substance. Both of these drugs have been shown to decrease cognition and motor function. In addition, chemical metabolites of marijuana were identified in the man's system.

Emergency personnel who responded to the scene of the crash report that the man appeared to be in an altered state, with constricted pupils and unusual behavior. He was alone in his car. The driver, who said he caused the wreck because he missed an exit on I-95, was slow to react and demonstrated severe lethargy, according to reports from the scene.

In such accident cases, the drivers may face criminal charges, but they can also be subject to civil liability for their role in the accidents. Family members of the decedents in such cases can recover financial damages for wrongful death, while those who were injured may be able to seek financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs and emotional distress.

Source: www.news-journalonline.com, "Ormond man charged with vehicular homicide in deaths of 2 teens" Katie Kustura, Oct. 14, 2013

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