A 60-year-old Berlin woman was arrested at her home after police say she struck and killed a pedestrian with her car. According to NBC Connecticut, the woman initially stopped after the pedestrian accident, but left after firefighters arrived on the scene to care for the 36-year-old man she had hit. Though she left, police were able to track her down. They believe she was intoxicated at the time of the accident although they were unable to test her blood alcohol level.
According to Berlin police, by asking very specific questions about the driver's drinking in the hours preceding an accident, they can generally tell if someone was drunk at the time of the accident.
The man who was hit was taken to the Hospital of Central Connecticut, but he died shortly thereafter. It is unknown if the man's family members will choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman, but it is likely that they could. From initial reports, there is no indication that the man was walking in the street and, if police are able to prove that the woman was intoxicated at the time of the crash, it would only help a wrongful death claim.
Although prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the woman, a wrongful death lawsuit is just another method for grieving family members to hold the woman accountable for her poor choices. And, even if prosecutors fail to convince a jury that the woman was guilty of any criminal behavior, it does not necessarily prohibit the family from collecting in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: NBC Connecticut, "Driver Accused of Hitting Pedestrian Charged with DUI," Dec. 23, 2013