The dangers faced by highway repair and maintenance workers in Michigan and around the country were brought into sharp focus on the morning of Aug. 21 when a 26 year-old-woman was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver while installing guard rails on Interstate 90 in Pennsylvania. The 19-year-old man thought by police to have been behind the wheel is being held at the Erie County Prison without bond on charges of homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 4.
An eyewitness described the hit-and-run vehicle to police as a tan-colored Buick LeSabre, and a vehicle with a cracked windshield and front end damage was spotted on Route 89 near Wattsburg about 10 minutes after the accident. Pennsylvania State Police troopers took the man into custody after finding his car being towed out of a ditch in Amity Township. Troopers say that the man's breath smelled strongly of alcohol.
The auto-pedestrian accident took place in Erie County on Interstate 90 near Exit 35 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Paramedics rushing to the scene were told to look for a pedestrian in the roadway who was not breathing. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders at 8:23 a.m. An autopsy later determined that she died of blunt force trauma.
Drivers who commit vehicular homicide while drunk or impaired by drugs are often sent to prison for decades, but that does not mean that the dependent family members of their victims are unable to pursue civil remedies. In situations where the negligent party is incarcerated or died in the accident they caused, experienced personal injury attorneys may file wrongful death lawsuits against their auto insurance companies or estates.Source: GoErie, Driver charged in fatal pedestrian crash in Harborcreek, Tim Hahn, Aug. 22, 2018Source: GoErie, Deputy helps catch Erie man following fatal crash, Tim Hahn, Aug. 23, 2018