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Woman charged in Houston-area fatal car crash

Texas law enforcement personnel put their lives at risk every day to protect the safety of citizens. In late October a Harris County sheriff's deputy was tragically killed in the line of duty when another vehicle slammed into his patrol car. Last month the driver of the other vehicle, a 29-year-old woman, was charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The fatal car crash happened on October 28 on East Wallisville Road in East Harris County. After the crash the 32-year-old deputy was transported by air to the Texas Medical Center, but after he arrived there he was pronounced dead. The woman sustained a broken leg in the crash.

Authorities say they found methamphetamine in the woman's car, and she was initially charged with drug possession. After reviewing toxicology reports, authorities concluded the woman was intoxicated when she caused the crash, and the intoxication manslaughter charge was added.

When a person is killed in a fatal accident while on the job, the surviving next of kin are eligible to receive workers' compensation death benefits under Texas law. Workers' compensation benefits are paid without any determination as to fault. But when the fatal accident was caused by the negligence of a person other than the employer, the family also has the right to bring a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. In this lawsuit, known as a third-party lawsuit, the family can recover damages over and above the benefits recoverable from workers' compensation.

No amount of money can compensate a family for losing a loved one in the line of duty. But a wrongful death recovery can help them get back on their feet financially when a breadwinner has been killed.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Manslaughter charges in deputy's death," Mike Glenn, Nov. 24, 2014

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