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Driver ordered to pay restitution after fatal Campbellsport crash

In Wisconsin, if a driver's negligent or reckless behavior causes another person's death, then the driver could be sent to jail and made to pay restitution to the family of the victim. This restitution is generally meant to return the grieving family to the financial position they held prior to the fatal accident.

A 2012 fatal crash in Campbellsport, Wisconsin, has led to such a call for restitution. A 19-year-old girl was driving her SUV at speeds of over 100 miles per hour when the vehicle flipped, killing three of her friends who were with her. The driver received a one-year jail sentence and will have to do hundreds of hours of community service and be on probation for a six-year span.

But no matter what a criminal court decides, the surviving family members of the victims will have to carry on without their lost loved ones. The families of the deceased girls each asked for about $20,000 in restitution to help cover funeral costs, time off from work and benches to be erected at the deceased girls' graves.

At the restitution hearing, the driver's defense attorney argued against awarding the families the full amount asked for. The judge disagreed, however, and even expressed his wish that the driver spend a full year in jail rather than being given a work release under Wisconsin's Huber law.

When a person's negligence causes the death of a loved one, grieving families need to be aware of their rights. There are legal steps that have to be taken in order to recoup the financial costs resulting from a fatal accident.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "Ottery to pay more than $70,000," Samantha Strong, April 10, 2013

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