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New Jersey man pleads guilty in car accident deaths

In August 2009, a New Jersey man with a suspended license was driving recklessly near Bergen County when his and another vehicle crossed the median and collided with oncoming traffic, killing two people and injuring three others. Last week, the man pleaded guilty to causing death and serious bodily injury while driving with a suspended license in exchange for a decreased sentence.

According to police reports, the fatal car accident occurred when the 26-year-old man was driving between 40 and 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. He sped up to pass a vehicle ahead of him that was being driven by a friend. While passing that vehicle on the right side, he sideswiped the car, sending both vehicles airborne and over the median into oncoming traffic.

The second car collided head-on with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction, killing its 31-year-old driver. The first car, driven by the defendant, also crashed, causing the front-seat passenger to suffer fatal injuries. The three back-seat passengers were also seriously injured.

The defendant was arrested and charged with causing death and serious bodily injury while driving with a suspended license. He entered into a plea agreement and received a five-year sentence of probation and five additional years of license suspension. According to the county prosecutors, the man's driver's license had previously been suspended because of unpaid parking tickets, not an earlier vehicular crime.

If the defendant had been convicted at trial, he could have received between five and 10 years in jail.

If you have lost a family member in a car accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: The Record, "Guilty plea in Paterson accident that killed two," John Petrick, Jan. 12, 2012

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