The Associated Press is reporting that a 24 year old Portland man involved in an Oregon fatal car crash late last year has been charged with manslaughter. According to the news agency the suspect “was arraigned Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court in Salem.” In addition to manslaughter he has also been charged with “assault and possession of a controlled substance.”
According to the dispatch, which was published on The Oregonian’s website, the Oregon SUV driver allegedly crossed the centerline of Highway 22 near Idanha, east of Salem, on December 19 and hit an oncoming car. The Salem car accident killed a 69 year old man in the oncoming car and sent three other people in that vehicle to the hospital. The driver of the SUV was also hospitalized with what AP describes as serious injuries.
Accidents like this one are a reminder of the important distinction between criminal and civil proceedings. Just because the state has chosen to move ahead with manslaughter and other charges does not mean the alleged SUV driver cannot also be held to account in civil court for the damage he has done to the victims and their families.
Issues such as these – questions about the nature of the law and how it might affect your particular case – are best considered in consultation with an Oregon personal injury lawyer with broad experience in auto accident litigation. An experienced Portland or Salem car crash attorney can help you sort through the complex, and often confusing, specifics of the law and will fight to help you obtain the justice you deserve.
AP via The Oregonian: Ore. Man charged with manslaughter in fatal crash