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Criminal and civil justice can be pursued after fatal wreck

The New Year started off poorly for the real estate developer from Manhattan who was responsible for the death of a passenger after he crashed his Porsche last summer in Sag Harbor.

Forensic evidence led investigators to the conclusion that the body had been removed from the Porsche after the fatal collision. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney, the 42-year-old man took the dying man out of his car and left him at the foot of the passenger's Rolling Hill Court East driveway before fleeing from the scene. The developer had first struck a utility pole in a curve in the road.

The Vehicular Crimes Bureau Chief testified that four hours after the wreck, the driver had a blood alcohol content of .18 percent.

He was indicted on charges that included:

-- Aggravated vehicular homicide

-- Vehicular manslaughter

-- Aggravated driving while intoxicated

-- Reckless driving

-- Failing to stay in one lane

-- Speeding

-- Driving on the road shoulder

The most serious charge is aggravated vehicular homicide, as a conviction can land a defendant in prison for up to 25 years.

While the criminal court system is holding the man responsible for his alleged negligent and callous actions immediately before and after the accident, family members of the deceased have a right to seek civil justice as well. They, and others in similar circumstances, can file a suit for the wrongful death of their loved one. Driving while drunk and causing a fatal accident, then compounding it by leaving his friend to die alone on the side of the road, are both egregious examples of negligence on the part of the driver.

Source: East Hampton Patch, "DA: Sean Ludwick Moved Paul Hansen's Body After Crash," Priscila Korb, Jan. 06, 2016

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