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20-year-old charged with voluntary homicide

A 20-year-old man is facing charges for vehicular homicide after his childhood friend was killed when the BMW they were in struck a utility pole.

The 19-year-old died at the accident scene. The 20-year-old, who was driving, suffered serious injuries, including bruised lungs, a brain bleed, a broken collarbone and a broken back. He also had a blood alcohol concentration of .22, which is almost three times the legal limit.

Just before the crash, a sergeant with the Endicott campus police saw the BMW squeal its tires as it pulled out onto the roadway. Another officer saw the BMW speed past him just before he heard the sounds of the crash. Two students who were walking were fearful that they would be struck by the car. They saw the vehicle attempt to turn into an entrance to the campus. The car didn't make that turn; instead, it slammed into a utility pole on the passenger's side.

The driver fell out of the vehicle when firefighters were able to pry open the door. He was taken to the hospital after he tried to crawl away. Police found a bottle of Ciroc apple vodka that was about three-quarters empty and marijuana in a grinder in the vehicle. The driver was found to be suffering from acute alcohol intoxication at the hospital.

After his release, he turned himself into court. His $25,000 bail had already been negotiated between his attorney and the prosecutor. His parents posted up the cash. The man's next hearing is scheduled for June 7. Until then, he is allowed to return with his parents to Vermont.

If you have been injured because of a drunk driver or if you have had a loved one killed, you may have a claim for compensation. Criminal charges are not required for a civil case, although it can help bolster the civil case. An experienced attorney can help you learn more about what is required for a successful personal injury or wrongful death case.

Source: The Salem News, "Driver released on $25,000 bail in fatal crash," Julie Manganis, April 26, 2016

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