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Tennessee woman arraigned in relation to crash that killed teen

On August 19, a 33-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from a Rutherford County car accident that killed a teenage boy. She is facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, vehicular homicide by recklessness, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, reckless assault and vehicular homicide by intoxication. The latter charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The accident occurred on April 10, when the 33-year-old woman crossed two lanes on westbound Interstate 24 and struck the teenager, who was changing a tire on a vehicle belonging to his mother on the shoulder of the interstate, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Emergency personnel transported the teenager to StoneCrest Medical Center, where he ultimately died of injuries suffered in the crash, authorities reported.

A THP trooper said that the 33-year-old woman evinced signs of intoxication and performed poorly on three field sobriety tests in the aftermath of the event. According to the trooper, the woman said she had taken a prescription medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and a prescription pain killer. A blood test administered on the woman later revealed the presence of marijuana metabolites, amphetamines and alprazolam in her system, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

While criminal cases have no official bearing on civil cases, even when they derive from the same incident and share the same defendant, a wrongful death attorney representing the family of an accident victim may proffer evidence and information adopted from the police investigation if it bolsters the family's case against the at-fault party. For, certain family members of people who die in a car accident caused by another party's actionable behavior, such as negligence, may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover pecuniary damages related to the sudden death of their loved one.

Source: The Tennessean, "Woman accused in fatal I-24 accident pleads not guilty", Michelle Willard, August 19, 2014

Source: The Tennessean, "Woman accused in fatal I-24 accident pleads not guilty", Michelle Willard, August 19, 2014

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