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Camden pedestrian accent leaves 1 man dead, 1 charged with crime

A Camden resident faces a charge of death by auto in an Oct. 4 crash that left another Camden man dead. The accident occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. near the Westfield and Rosedale avenues, when a 53-year-old pedestrian from Camden was struck by a 2000 Ford Explorer while crossing Westfield Avenue. There was a witness present at the scene prior to police arrival.

The witness reported to authorities that the injured 74-year-old Ford driver from Camden exited his vehicle after the collision. The driver reportedly took several labored steps before collapsing. The witness took the Ford driver's keys and waited to turn them in to police responders.

The 53-year-old was taken to Cooper University hospital and pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m. According to authorities, there were open containers of alcohol in the 74-year-old's vehicle. Authorities also report that the man showed signs of intoxication and had a blood-alcohol content of .21 percent, which is significantly higher than the .08 percent legal limit. The driver later turned himself in to the Camden County Police Department on Dec. 31 once he became aware of the charges filed. It is unclear whether or not the driver has any past record of alcohol-related offense.

The defendant was released from Camden County Jail on bail of $150,000. If this was the driver's first offense, a defense attorney may be able to argue for a lesser sentence. The fact that he cooperated with police by turning himself in after charges were filed may also improve his chance of receiving leniency. In some cases, defendants can receive dismissed charges if it is determined that proper blood-alcohol testing protocol were not followed by police. Another DUI defense strategy that may be used is to determine whether the physical evidence in the vehicle that was used to support the charges was seized legally.

Source: NJ.com, "Camden man charged in DWI crash that killed pedestrian," Mark Daniels, Jan. 3, 2015

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