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Fatal accident leaves 1 dead, driver under suicide watch

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A 29-year-old New York man who drove his high-priced Porsche into the rear of a parked bus in Queens is being held in prison under a suicide watch as he awaits a hearing on DWI and vehicular manslaughter charges. After leaving a bar where he admitted to drinking six beers and three shots, he attempted to drive a female passenger to her home. At the scene of the fatal accident, upon seeing that his passenger was dead, he reportedly tried but failed to strangle himself to death with the string from his hoodie, according to police.

He reportedly told police that the victim pleaded with him to slow down as he sped through the streets. The woman was here visiting her fiancé, and she was intending to return to her native South Korea shortly, according to police. The defendant is a grad student in the pharmacy program at a local university. Neighbors said he was quiet and lived with his parents, but the new Porsche surprised them as being "out of place" and divergent from his laid back personality.

The accident shows once again how much senseless human suffering can be created when people forget to follow basic common sense rules, such as not driving when impaired. The pain and emotional grief falls not only on the victim's family but also on the perpetrator's. The law will prosecute the man for his crimes, but the only thing it can do practically for the victim's family is to provide a reasonable degree of financial recompense.

In this particular case, the estate of the decedent may bring a claim in state or federal court against the driver. The death of a young woman in a fatal accident is recognized as having considerable financial value under New York law. The estate will be entitled to collect for the woman's pain and suffering just prior to her death, medical and funeral expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity that she could reasonably have earned over the remainder of her life.

Source: New York Daily News, "Woman killed by drunken driver who crashed Porsche in Queens urged driver to slow down; was in NYC to visit fiance", Joseph Stepansky, Denis Slattery, Rich Schapiro, Dec. 19, 2015

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