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Passengers often suffer the consequences in single car accidents

Many New Hampshire residents may forget that as passengers in a vehicle, they literally put their lives in the hands of the driver. It requires a certain amount of trust that the driver will follow the traffic laws, drive diligently and get their passengers to the destination safely. If that trust is violated, the passengers pay the price in serious injuries or even death in the car accidents that result.

Perhaps a 22-year-old woman who was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 21-year-old woman should not have trusted the driver. At approximately 12:23 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning, the vehicle, which was actually occupied by three women, was found on the front lawn of a residence. The damage to the vehicle was extensive, and emergency personnel had to cut the driver out of the wreckage.

The driver's injuries were considered serious, and the rear passenger, a 20-year-old woman, suffered injuries identified as not being life threatening. The third woman died at the scene. Officials believe that the driver lost control of the vehicle, which then slammed into a tree and flipped. Authorities at the scene, including troopers with the New Hampshire State Police, believe speed played a role in the crash.

The injured passenger and the family of the deceased victim retain the right to file civil claims against the driver even if she does not face criminal charges in connection with the wreck. If the appropriate evidence proves negligence on the part of the driver, damages often seen in other car accidents could be awarded. Any restitution received could help defray the economic losses incurred in the aftermath of the crash.

Source: wgme.com, "22-year-old woman dies in New Hampshire crash", June 18, 2017

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