DRUNK HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER KILLS WOMAN IN ACCIDENT

An accident on Mullica Hill Road in Glassboro has resulted in one fatality. A 46-year-old woman whose identity has not been made public was hit by a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup near the intersection with Girard Road, near Rowan University. The Silverado was driven by Scott W. Jahnel, 46, of Pickerel, Wisconsin. Police are still investigating the incident, but they believe that the woman was Jahnel's girlfriend, living with Jahnel in South Jersey for the summer while Jahnel worked a temporary construction job. In the moments preceding the crash, the woman was pushed, fell, or jumped out of the moving truck. Investigators estimate that the woman was hit at approximately 50 mph, though the speed limit in that area was 35 mph. Jahnel fled the area immediately after the accident, but eventually reported the incident to police and returned to the scene. Jahnel is being held in jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, and the current charges being filed against him include fleeing the scene of a fatal accident, endangering an injured victim, and driving while intoxicated. 

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, or have lost a loved one to a crash with a drunk driver, you know how devastating and senseless that loss can feel. Not only are you left recovering from either your injuries or loss, but you may also be struggling to keep up with the medical bills, lost wages, and property damages left behind. In a typical accident, the driver responsible for the crash may be negligent or inattentive, but typically hasn't deliberately done something to cause the accident. When the responsible party was merely negligent instead of willful, courts tend to impose only the costs of the damage the individual caused. However, when an individual acts willfully or deliberately in causing harm, or acts extremely recklessly, then a court might impose what are known as "punitive" damages that go above and beyond simply reimbursing an injured person's losses and bills, in order to punish wrongful behavior. Here, since Jahnel acted recklessly by drinking before he drove, and willfully chose to drive away after hitting his girlfriend, he may be subjected to punitive damages, should the woman's family decide to sue him in a civil lawsuit.

Car accidents with a hit-and-run or drunk driver can leave you overwhelmed. Seek out compassionate, knowledgeable personal injury attorneys to guide you through the process of filing insurance claims and considering additional legal action. Contact the Morristown car accident attorneys at Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your possible lawsuit. Our lawyers are available to assist you with claims throughout the area, including Bergen County, Parsippany, Long Valley, Madison, and Florham Park. Call 973-292-0016 today.

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