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Pennsylvania woman killed in wrong-way collision

A 57-year-old Pennsylvania woman died in an accident between a box truck and an SUV on Route 222 in Fleetwood Borough on Aug. 14. The highway was closed to traffic for six hours while authorities conducted an investigation and cleared the crash site. Traffic was detoured along an alternate route until the highway reopened around 11 p.m.

The accident occurred when the northbound SUV, driven by a 19-year-old New York man, moved into the southbound lanes of the highway and struck a box truck around 4:20 p.m., according to police. After the initial collision, the SUV continued for approximately 70 feet before colliding with a utility pole. The driver was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Pennsylvania reportedly tired during fatal crash

Police say that a 19-year-old woman caused a crash that took the life of a 65-year-old woman at about 8:30 a.m. on April 12 when her Hyundai Elantra collided with a Volkswagen Jetta on Route 145 near Clearview and Neffs Laury's roads in North Whitehall Township. According to reports, the woman had attended class, slept for three hours and then worked an 11-hour shift at Lehigh Station Mall before the accident occurred. According to reports, both the victim's granddaughter and the teenager were hospitalized.

Reports further indicate that the woman said she may have dozed off prior to the accident taking place. Text messages obtained by police indicated that the woman would be too tired to remember going home and that it wasn't the first time that she had experienced this. However, police were also quick to point out that there was no indication that the woman had been texting while driving prior to the crash.

Pennsylvania worker killed when natural gas well explodes

A 27-year-old man lost his life Feb. 11, 2014, when a natural gas well exploded in Greene County. The explosion is being blamed on work performed by an inexperienced contractor who was taking steps to prepare the well for production at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in Dunkard Township.

On August 6, the DEP released the results of its months-long investigation into the fatal accident. According to the report, the inexperienced worker, known as a "greenhat," was directed to loosen some equipment from portions of the wellhead, a procedure he was not experienced in. The well began to leak natural gas and exploded several days later while other contractors were present, killing one of them. The explosion resulted in a fire that lasted for five days.

2-vehicle crash kills 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman

Authorities reported that a two-car accident that happened on Callowhill Road in New Britain Township claimed the life of a 37-year-old Sellersville woman on July 24. According to New Britain police, the crash occurred at 6:00 p.m. when a 22-year-old driver from Perkasie crossed the centerline with his vehicle and collided head-on with the victim's northbound car near Myers Road. The news source did not indicate if the woman died at the scene or if she was first transported to a hospital. It also did not mention if the other driver was injured.

Chal-Brit EMS, Chalfont Fire Company, Bucks County Park Rangers, Hilltown Township police and Chalfont Boro police aided New Britain police at the accident site. As of July 25, the crash was being investigated by the accident reconstruction team of Bucks County and New Britain police. Pending criminal charges against the other driver were not mentioned in the source.

Report on fatal helicopter crash in 2011 released 3 years later

A July 2014 report states that pilot error likely led to the helicopter crash that killed a Pennsylvania couple in Hawaii on Nov. 10, 2011. The couple was on a 45-minute sightseeing tour over Molokai during its honeymoon. The accident also killed another couple from Canada and the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued its report on the accident on July 25. It says that the fatal accident was probably due to the pilot having flown too close to the mountains under bad weather conditions. Specifically, it stated that the pilot's choice to fly in conditions of rain, high wind, low cloud bases and rising terrain contributed to the accident. According to the report, the crash occurred when the helicopter's horizontal stabilizer and tail rotor struck either the ground or vegetation. The helicopter slammed into the mountains afterward and started burning. An attorney for the parents of one of the victims said his clients and himself knew that weather was a factor in the crash.

Rental companies may lead in safety issue identification

Pennsylvania readers are probably aware of the numerous recalls conducted by General Motors this year. At the end of June, the company had tagged more than 16 million North American vehicles to be brought back for repairs related to faulty ignition switches. This number exceeds the 9.71 million cars that GM sold worldwide in 2013. The vehicles involved are the Ion, Cobalt and four other models sold in the U.S. The problem is that when the ignition switches are bumped, they could turn off the engines and disable the air bags.

This has been characterized as the largest wave of vehicle recalls in history, but the problem may have been addressed by the company years ago. In 2006, an investigator for Vanguard Car Rental USA communicated with GM about a fatal rollover wreck in which the air bag of a Cobalt did not function. Other cases going back to the mid-2000s show that rental car companies had concerns about the safety of several GM products.

Who is legally responsible when a child is injured at birth?

For Pennsylvania residents who have seen any of their children suffer a birth injury, the question of who may be sued for damages often comes up. In health care facilities, especially hospitals, there are usually various parties involved, one or several of which may be found liable for any injuries to children.

The parties that could potentially be responsible for a birth injury include the medical staff, hospital, and even the pharmaceutical companies that supply drugs to the facility. A negligent nurse or doctor could be sued directly if they failed to live up to the standard of care that comes with their positions. The hospital for which a negligent medical professional works may also be liable on two separate causes of action, those being negligence and vicarious liability. Negligence would be if the hospital failed to adequately investigate or supervise the staff that it hires. Additionally, the hospital may be vicariously liable for the actions of its staff under a legal principle known as respondeat superior. This applies to hospital employees if any of them caused a patient's injury while they were providing treatment within the scope of their employment.

Pennsylvania man homicide charge after fatal accident

Authorities in Pennsylvania have reported that a Doylestown man is facing several charges, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, after he allegedly struck a motorcycle on July 19. The rider of the motorcycle was killed as a result of the collision. The fatal accident occurred around 10:20 p.m. in Bucks County.

According to a police report, the 64-year-old man was traveling eastbound on Kellers Church Road in Bedminster when his vehicle drifted into the path of oncoming traffic. Responding police officers say that the man claimed that he could not remember crossing into the westbound lane of Kellers Church Road or striking the motorcycle. A toxicology test is said to have measured the man's blood-alcohol level at more than three times the .08 percent Pennsylvania legal limit.

Wrongful death and compensation

If someone dies and that person's family members believe that he or she was the victim of another party's negligence or malice, those relatives may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These kinds of civil suits arise when events like automobile accidents, surgeries, mixed up prescriptions and workplace accidents turn fatal. These lawsuits are often filed after criminal trials. In addition to damages for the financial harm done to them, plaintiffs in wrongful death suits can sometimes seek punitive damages.

Pecuniary harm includes medical and burial costs, loss of support and the heirs' inability to collect an inheritance. Factors like the earning capacity, age, life expectancy, character and intelligence of the victim are used to calculate the financial injury suffered by a plaintiff of a wrongful death suit. Primarily, pecuniary damages are awarded based on what was going on in the decedent's life when he or she died. For example, if that person had earned a promotion at work shortly before dying, that circumstance could yield a larger monetary award for family members.

Family sues government over suicide

A Pennsylvania family received a partial victory on July 15, when a judge ruled that the plaintiffs were permitted to seek negligence claims against the U.S government, but that Greek officials and Athens hospitals involved in the dispute would be immune. The plaintiffs' son committed suicide while serving as a Marine in Greece during August 2012. After the funeral and burial, the parents were informed by U.S. officials that his heart had gone missing after the autopsy in Athens was conducted.

The plaintiffs suspect their son informed a colleague about having suicidal thoughts after having a breakup that same night. They contend that he was still permitted to drink alcohol throughout the evening, despite his state of mind, and to access the weapons closet. The U.S. government is typically immune from wrongful death claims, so the family had filed emotional distress claims. The parents may consider filing a lawsuit in Greece against the other parties involved as well.

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