In August we reported a story of a fatal accident where a man riding on a lawn mower was killed in a rear-end accident in Hamilton Township, Pennsylvania. Police say that an Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, man was driving the vehicle that was involved in the fatal crash.
Now, after police have developed more information related to the fatal accident, the 44-year-old Abbottstown man has been charged with several offenses, including felony homicide. Authorities believe that the man was driving under the influence. The 44-year-old driver is accused of slamming his pickup truck into the rear of a riding lawn mower leading to the death of a 55-year-old New Oxford, Pennsylvania, man.
In general, Pennsylvania law allows accident victims, or family members of a fatal accident victim, to potentially seek justice after a drunk driving crash from bars or taverns if evidence is found that an establishment unlawfully served a driver who later caused the accident. Drunk driving accidents may also entitle victims to seek special types of damages known as punitive and other forms of noneconomic damages.
Many of these additional claims available under Pennsylvania law may require additional evidence that is not uncovered in the typical law enforcement probe. Dram shop liability may not be a focus of a police investigation and uncovering where a driver may have been before a crash may need additional independent inquiry to discover.
A recent media account is sketchy about the evidence involved in the police investigation into the pickup truck and lawn mower accident from Adams County, Pennsylvania. The charges against the man go beyond the typical DUI case—the man is also charged with three counts of DUI controlled substance offenses.