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A man believed to have been intoxicated at the time of a car crash is being blamed for the death of his passenger, according to local sources. New York State Police arrested the Rochester man after responding to the car accident on the early morning of Feb. 13. He currently faces a DUI charge as well as several other charges, including driving without a license.

According to the accident report, the 34-year-old man was driving eastbound in the left lane of Interstate 90 when he apparently rear-ended a snow plow. The force of the impact caused serious damage to the car and killed his 33-year-old female passenger outright. He suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and he was summarily arrested.

It is unclear what prompted responding authorities to conclude that the man was drunk, but he has been officially charged with DUI and driving without a license. As the investigation into the accident proceeds, state troopers have said they believe more charges are pending. No court date for the driver has yet been set, and it is unclear whether he is still in police custody or if he has been released.

If it is proved in court that the man was drunk at the time of the car accident, he may face jail time in addition to other charges that may address the death of his passenger. New York law will also entitle the family of the deceased woman to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him. While a criminal conviction is not necessary to win such a suit, a guilty verdict in criminal court will go a long way toward seeing the civil suit successfully through the court process.

Source: myfoxny.com, “1 killed, 1 hurt in accident involving car, Thruway snowplow“, Feb. 13, 2015