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Driver in fatal accident confesses to being drunk

An Ohio motorist has posted a video online in which he confessed to being intoxicated when he was involved in June in a car accident that resulted in the death of a 61-year-old man. His vehicle smashed into the older man's Jeep, inflicting fatal injuries. Misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs is involved in causing many Ohio car accidents.

The video ends with a plea to other drivers not to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Prosecutors have not yet lodged any formal charges in the case. The daughter of the man who died believes that the video was posted online as an attempt to mitigate the charges and punishment, and asserts that the 22-year-old driver failed to cooperate with law enforcement investigators or insurance companies for close to three months.

Any criminal charges that would be brought would be separate from a wrongful death lawsuit if one is pursued by the decedent's family. Criminal charges are brought by public prosecutors and do not involve a mechanism for compensating accident victims or their families. That must be done through lawsuits brought by a private personal injury attorney.

Intoxicated drivers who get behind the wheel endanger other motorists, vehicle passengers, pedestrians, bike riders and even themselves. Their reflexes are slower, and their eyesight can be impaired by their intoxication, as well as their judgment. Their recklessness can cause accidents that change lives by permanently disabling people through severe injuries and can also tragically deprive a family of a loved one such as a child, parent, spouse or grandparent - a loss that can never fully be remedied.

In this accident, the decedent's daughter believes the young intoxicated driver's fault was clear, and the fact that he confessed to his involvement does not make him some kind of "hero." She pointed out that he failed to supply the video or a statement to detectives or to the surviving family before posting it online. She believes this showed that his motivation was to seek a lighter sentence rather than raising awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

Source:  NBCNews.com, "Crash victim's daughter challenges suspect's 'confession' video" Simon Moya-Smith, Sep. 06, 2013

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