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Drunk driver charged for hitting man in park


Four months ago, a 71-year-old man was struck by a drunk driver while sleeping on a bench at GAR Park in Haverhill. Authorities have charged a 66-year-old Methuen man for the car accident, which resulted in the loss of the victim’s finger as well as injuries to his hip, shoulder and ribs. The driver allegedly shattered the bench and also damaged a Korean War memorial in the park.

Witnesses report that the driver paused for approximately 30 seconds after colliding with the memorial. He then left the park, driving to New Hampshire. He was arrested after he drove his vehicle off the road. Police report that the driver was found with receipts showing that nine alcoholic beverages were purchased prior to the incident.

The driver pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. His lawyer reported that he lost the ability to drive in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Four months after the incident, the driver was charged in Haverhill District Court for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage. He was released pending trial.

Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, a victim who is injured by a drunk driver may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from the accident. Typical damages include medical bills, pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages. A person who suffers a permanent injury, such as the loss of a limb, may be entitled to additional damages for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and the hardship associated the permanent damage that has been suffered.

Source: Eagle-Tribune, “Man charged with driving into park bench, injuring 71-year-old,” Mike LaBella, Jan. 17, 2013


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