Fatal accident takes the life of Washington County fireman

A fatal accident took the life of a local firefighter and deputy constable. The tragedy occurred on Route 18 near Sycamore Lane in North Franklin Township in the early morning hours of April 3. The 55-year-old motorcycle rider was heading north when he was hit by a southbound pickup that was passing a garbage truck. The fatal accident is being investigated by Pennsylvania authorities.

The man was pronounced dead at the crash scene. As of now, no charges have been filed against the pickup driver. However, according to the chief of police, charges are pending and will later be announced by the district attorney. The victim, also employed as a machinist, is being remembered as a dedicated officer. The machinist shop where he also worked closed its doors for a day to honor to the victim.

Although criminal charges are pending against the driver for his part in this fatal accident, the man’s family may have the right to file a legal claim against the pickup driver and any other party deemed responsible for the crash. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate. Pennsylvania law recognizes the right of surviving family members to pursue this type of claim when a fatality is caused by the negligent or willful conduct of another.

When Pennsylvania drivers get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they assume a reasonable duty of care for others occupying the road. This seemingly senseless fatal accident may have been prevented. Now, the family is mourning the loss of their loved one. While seeking financial compensation through a wrongful death suit will not bring the victim back, a successful claim may help ensure that negligent parties are held accountable as well as provide needed compensation for expenses and other damages related to the fatal collision.

Source: WTAE Pittsburgh, “Passing Pickup Hits Motorcycle, Killing Driver,” April 3, 2012


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