Authorities said a fatal April 8 car crash in New York may have been caused by a man under the influence of drugs. The accident occurred at approximately 10:40 a.m. in Camillus. According to police, a 22-year-old man was traveling south on Kasson Road in a 2008 BMW X3 when he drifted into westbound traffic and collided head-on with a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The driver of the Toyota, a 79-year-old Syracuse man, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
The BMW driver suffered a broken ankle and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police believe he had been using heroin prior to the collision. He reportedly presented a Florida driver's license but lives on Underwood Way in Onondaga, meaning he was unlicensed to drive in New York. He has been charged with DUI, but further charges are pending.
Police shut down Kasson Road between Oakridge Road and Howlett Hill Road for several hours to complete a reconstruction of the accident. The crash remains under investigation.
Impaired drivers who cause fatal car accidents may face civil litigation in addition to criminal charges. The family of a deceased victim has the right to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against an impaired driver seeking compensation for their loss. While a lawsuit cannot bring their loved one back, it may provide compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship and any other damages allowed by the state's wrongful death statute. Anyone who has lost a loved one to an impaired driver could learn more about their available remedies by speaking with a personal injury attorney.
Source: syracuse.com, "Photos show scene of fatal Camillus crash, believed to be caused by man on heroin," Julie McMahon, April 8, 2015