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Wrongful death possible in New York crash

Two people are dead in Northampton, police have reported, following a serious car accident. Two 20-year-old men have been tragically killed, and a 19-year-old woman is in critical condition at a New York hospital. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, and while criminal charges will not be filed in this case, a wrongful death suit is still a possibility. 

According to the accident report, the 20-year-old driver was headed southbound on County Road 51 around 9:51 p.m. the night of Oct. 18 when the accident took place. It appears the driver lost control of his vehicle, causing it to veer off the road and into a wooded area. The force of the impact caused considerable damage to the vehicle.

Both the driver and a 20-year-old male passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. First responders worked to extricate a 19-year-old woman from the back of the car. When they freed her, she was immediately airlifted to a local hospital in critical condition. Police have not commented on what they believe the cause of the accident to be, but they have not ruled out recklessness, negligence or intoxication at this time. Their investigation is still ongoing. 

New York authorities will continue their investigation until a satisfactory cause for the accident has been discovered. If it is proved that the driver contributed materially to the accident, the families of the deceased passenger and the injured woman may be in a position to file wrongful death and/or personal injury suits against the estate of the driver, as well as anyone with ownership interest in the involved vehicle. These suits are handled in civil court and do not require criminal charges to be filed. 

Source: Southampton, NY Patch, "Police Identify Two Young Men Killed in Northampton Crash", Lisa Finn, Oct. 19, 2016

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