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Multi-car accident leaves New York police officer dead

New York police are famous for the way they pull together after one of their own is hurt on the job. When someone causes injury to a New York cop, either intentionally or negligently, it's practically guaranteed that the whole weight of the law will fall down on that person's head.

This appears to be the case after a tragic New York car accident last fall that led to the death Nassau County police officer. The 26-year-old man had just left a Manhattan club and was driving on the Long Island Expressway last October when he hit a taxi cab, police said. The man fled the scene, police said, but was later stopped when an off-duty New York City police detective rear-ended his car. Both cars then spun out on the highway. The Nassau County police officer arrived at the scene, but in the confusion of the accident, an SUV struck him, killing him. The detective was also seriously injured in the accident.

Police said the 26-year-old man had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.13 percent at the time of the crash, well over the legal limit. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter, DWI, reckless driving, hit-and-run and other offenses. Those charges were later upgraded to include vehicular assault, second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. The driver of the SUV was not charged.

Criminal charges are only part of the legal action that may follow a New York auto accident. Those who are injured by a negligent driver may be compensated for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

However, it's not always easy to tell when a driver was being negligent in the midst of a multi-vehicle accident. These cases take thorough investigation.

New York police will make sure that the criminal justice system works to serve justice when one of their own is hurt on the job. They also may have workers' compensation or other benefits available to help the injured. But civilians hurt in accidents should also investigate their options in the civil justice system.

Source: Long Island Press, "Driver Faces New Charges in Crash That Killed Cop," Timothy Bolger, April 10, 2013

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