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Autopsy Reveals Crash Caused Wisconsin Man's Death

When a man is killed in a head-on collision between two large SUVs, it seems logical and reasonable to conclude that the severe injuries he sustained in the accident caused his death.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports that because the man killed in a July crash was 72 years old, Kewaunee County law enforcement personnel wanted to be sure of the exact cause of death before they filed any criminal charges.

As it turns out, an autopsy revealed that the crash injuries and the man's high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries acted in combination to cause the death.

His injuries included a fractured arm, fractured rib, hematomas and contusions of the upper body, his left arm, his right knee and lower leg. After hospitalization, he experienced multi-organ failure and died.

The 45-year-old man police are now charging with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle reportedly admitted to drinking 12 beers in the two and a half hours preceding the fatal crash.

The drunk driver is alleged to have pulled out in front of the older driver's vehicle, causing a head-on collision.

Families who lose loved ones in these types of situations have a number of difficult legal questions to grapple with as they cope with the tragedy.

  • Will the accused get the punishment he deserves from our criminal justice system?
  • Who will pay for enormous medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income and other financial damages caused by the reckless behavior of the person responsible?
  • If the death is partly caused by the crash and partly due to existing medical conditions, would compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit be limited?

All of these questions and many more are part of the process of determining what is best for surviving family members as they deal with their grief and loss.

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette: "Homicide Charges in Crash": November 13, 2010

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