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Drunk driver charged with homicide in fatal accident

In December 2012, a 57-year-old Oshkosh man was traveling in Nekemi when his vehicle crossed the center line and careened head-on into a van. The 80-year-old driver of the van was killed, and his 81-year-old wife suffered from several broken bones. The driver now faces charges for six felonies arising out of the accident, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. He may also face civil liability for the wrongful death of the other driver if the surviving partner chooses to file a claim.

The driver had already been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2011, which resulted in his driver's license being suspended, and he did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the 2012 collision.

The criminal complaint filed in February alleges that the driver's blood-alcohol limit was .285, well over the legal limit of .08 percent. His public defender has yet to respond to any inquiries.

Drivers who cause injury as a result of failing to operate their vehicle with due care may be liable to any victims for their behavior, and a criminal DUI conviction is conclusive evidence that he or she was not driving with due care. Any person who has been injured in a collision by a drunk driver may be entitled to recover for damage to the vehicle, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Family members of those who are killed in an alcohol-related incident may also be able to recover funeral costs and the deceased victim's lost earning potential. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to assist victims of an automobile accident or their families in recovering compensation in the wake of such a tragic event.

Source: The Republic, "Oshkosh man with suspended license charged with homicide after fatal alcohol-related collision," Feb. 7, 2013

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