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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Wisconsin criminal case closed for fatal garage crash

Three men were hurt and one was killed when a Wisconsin teenager backed a pickup truck into a family garage. Authorities are not expected to press charges against the 18-year-old who backed into the structure and caused the fatal car accident.

The teenager, his brother, father, uncles and a family friend were gathered in the Ashford garage in mid-November. The men and boys had been on a hunting expedition just before the bizarre motor vehicle accident.

The teen, his father and brother exited the garage. The 18-year-old climbed into a Chevrolet Silverado. The other two family members occupied a Toyota RAV 4, apparently to move the vehicle to make room for the pickup truck to back out.

The Silverado was shifted into reverse. The driver told Fond du Lac deputies that he couldn't understand why he was unable to make the truck stop. The vehicle crashed into the garage killing the teen's 59-year-old uncle. Two other uncles and the family friend were also struck and injured. None of the survivors were able to tell police what happened.

The driver's brother heard his sibling cry out a warning while the truck was in motion. No evidence was found that the driver was impaired or the Silverado had mechanical problems. The case was closed after police completed crash reconstruction and reports.

The uncle's death occurred less than a year after the teen's family suffered the loss of another relative in a fatal crash. The teen's sister was one of three passengers killed in a high-speed, single-car accident last February. The 18-year-old driver lived to face criminal charges for the fatality.

A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be filed in civil court whether or not a defendant is charged with a crime or convicted of breaking the law.  The potential defendant from the garage accident may be sued for damages despite the family ties between most of the victims and the truck driver.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "No charges expected in fatal crash," Samantha Strong, Jan. 9, 2013

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