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Massachusetts man may face wrongful death suit

A man charged in connection with a fatal hit-and-run may be facing serious jail time, according to sources. The Massachusetts man was arrested in Texas after allegedly fleeing to El Salvador following the accident that claimed the life of a 25-year-old man in Chelsea in June of last year. Even if the man is not found guilty of the charges filed against him, the family of the slain man could file for wrongful death in civil court. 

According to the accident report, the 34-year-old man was drunk when he struck a 25-year-old man in a parking lot near Washington Street on June 4, 2016. The man, who was later identified through security footage, was seen fleeing at high speed from the parking lot. The man he struck was rushed to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. 

The 34-year-old then allegedly fled the country to El Salvador for two days after the crash. When he returned, he was arrested by authorities in Texas where he was placed into custody as of Dec. 1. He faces the charge of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and has been ordered into home confinement. He must surrender his passport should he make the $150,000 bail the court has attached to his case. 

Even if the criminal charges do not result in a conviction, Massachusetts law allows the family of the deceased man to file a wrongful death suit against him in a civil court. Such a suit would require evidence of material contribution to the accident. Such evidence can sometimes be sourced from police sources investigating the initial accident. 

Source: Somerville, MA Patch, "Everett Man Charged in Fatal Chelsea Hit-and-Run", Alex Newman, March 16, 2017

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