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Firefighter killed by drunk driver in New Jersey accident

A New Jersey motorcycle accident on Oct. 11 claimed the life of a New York City firefighter. The fatal accident took place at the intersection of Vivian Terrace and North Avenue in Union Township at about 5:15 a.m. A 24-year-old Elizabeth man has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated.

The firefighter was driving from his second home in Pennsylvania to report to work at Engine 159 in Staten Island on his 2004 Suzuki when he was struck by a Honda Accord which police believe had run a stop sign. The firefighter took evasive action but was unable to avoid a collision. He was ejected from his motorcycle, hit by the vehicle and thrown 30 feet. A responding police officer observed that the firefighter was wearing a reflective vest and that there was no reason for the driver to have not seen him.

A statement from the Union County Prosecutor's Office said that officers noted that the driver had bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath. His bail was set at $100,000. One local resident said that the intersection where the accident occurred is dangerous. She called for the stop sign to be replaced by a traffic light due to the high frequency of accidents. On Sept. 15, another motorcyclist was killed as a car exited a gas station at that intersection.

The safety of all road users relies on the care and attention of motorists, but motorcyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable. When an individual is killed by the reckless or negligent actions of others, a personal injury attorney may be able to hold drivers responsible for their actions. The attorney might also pursue financial compensation for the families of victims for any funeral expenses and the lost income of the deceased.

Source: CBS New York, "Veteran NYC Firefighter Killed In Motorcycle Crash In N.J.", October 11, 2013

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