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Woman sentenced in hit-and-run death of a local teenager

A Phoenix woman has been sentenced to six years in prison on criminal charges related to the hit-and-run death of a local teenager. The incident took place in October 2010 in Peoria when a 25-year-old female bartender was driving home from her job at a local bar when her vehicle ran onto the sidewalk and hit an 18-year-old male pedestrian. She then drove her Chevrolet Trailblazer away from the scene of the accident.

This fatal accident claimed the life of the teenager. When the driver of the vehicle was arrested, she stated that she knew she had hit something with her car but was not aware that she had hit a person. She admitted that she was heavily medicated, and investigators discovered that she had not heeded the warnings about the medications' possible side effects. She has been found guilty and sentenced on charges of negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

When events such as these happen, they may have a serious and long-term impact on the victim's loved ones. The event may have resulted in medical bills before the victim passed away as well as funeral costs. In addition, the family of the deceased may continue to feel the effects associated with lost income as well as pain and suffering.

A Phoenix family that has lost a loved one in a car accident may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle. Even if a driver has already been sentenced on criminal charges, personal injury law provides the family with the ability to file a claim in civil court as well in order to possibly receive a financial award for their pain, suffering and expenses, and they may also find closure after this devastating event.

Source: CBS 5, "Woman in hit-and-run that killed teen gets 6 years," Steve Stout, Feb. 7, 2013

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*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization