Victim auditioned for ‘American Idol’ before fatal crash

A 20-year-old passenger was killed recently on a Pennsylvania highway when a teen driver lost control of a Jeep. The 17-year-old driver and four other occupants suffered injuries when the vehicle rolled over on Interstate 95. According to a crash assessment by state police investigators, speeding led to the fatal car accident.

The woman who died had been in Philadelphia earlier that day among people auditioning for the televised talent show “American Idol.” Four of the six people in the Jeep were teens; the oldest was 24. Authorities said several occupants weren’t wearing safety restraints – three car accident victims were ejected during the nighttime crash.

Investigators reported the teen driver sped along the right shoulder of the northbound interstate in Bucks County to pass another vehicle. The Jeep Liberty then cut across traffic at a high speed and flipped over multiple times after entering the grassy median.

The driver, a 16-year-old female and two male passengers, ages 18 and 24, were hospitalized with noncritical injuries. A 19-year-old woman suffered broken ribs and a head injury. The unidentified teen driver is a Belleville, Mifflin County, resident — the woman who died and the other passengers lived in several different cities in a neighboring state.

The investigation into the fatal single-vehicle accident is incomplete. State police have not decided whether the minor driver will face criminal charges.

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits may be filed in Pennsylvania whether or not a driver is charged with a crime. Accident victims and surviving family members appeal to civil courts for compensation to cover losses like medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Courts make judgments based upon whether negligent or reckless behavior caused serious or fatal injuries.

Accident attorneys help victims and families hold careless drivers accountable for their actions. Compensation from claims cannot undo harm caused by a crash. Damages reduce victims’ financial stress.

Source: The Morning Call, “Police release name of American Idol hopeful killed in I-95 crash,” Jo Ciavaglia, Calkins Media, Aug. 04, 2015

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