A car accident can happen in various different ways, whether it involves two vehicles or a vehicle and a pedestrian. Recently, a 46-year-old Florida man was charged in connection with the death of his friend on a Montana highway after he allegedly ran him over. The man, who pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the car accident, faces as many as 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted of negligent homicide.
The victim died in early January from exposure to the elements and severe crushing injuries caused by being run over by a vehicle, according to medical reports. He was found in a ditch on the side of the road in a T-shirt, jeans and socks.
The suspect is accused of running over his 48-year-old friend after a confrontation in a vehicle. He allegedly forced the victim out of the vehicle and left him on the side of the road near Culbertson. Court documents state that the men went to two restaurants and then headed down the road. When the two men got into the vehicle at that point, the suspect alleges that the victim began to hit him about the head and shoulders, preventing him from safety operating the truck.
To end the altercation, the suspect forced the victim out of the vehicle and claims he left him on the side of the road. The victim was reportedly breathing hard, bent over with his hands on his knees, when the suspect drove away from the scene. The driver said he did not get out of the car to check on the victim when he saw him in this state. Although it doesn't appear the man has admitted to running over his friend, he did tell reporters that the incident was an accident.
The two men had worked for the same oil company in Montana, according to the suspect's mother.
As this case moves through criminal court, the family of the deceased man may choose to bring the case to civil court in order to seek compensation to cover funeral costs, possible lost wages, and pain and suffering. Police investigation records and the outcome of the criminal case will be important in determining if negligence led to the death of the man.
Source: The Missoulian, "Florida man pleads not guilty to running over friend in NE Montana," Associated Press, Feb. 29, 2012