The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Woman on Way Home From 1st Car Crash, Killed by DUI in 2nd

Jean McCarthy got into a minor car accident over the weekend in Toms River, New Jersey. The 71-year-old woman was not injured in the accident and her 74-year-old husband came to pick her up. As the couple drove home, their car was struck head-on by a drunk driver in a second accident.

Jean McCarthy was killed in the Toms River DUI and her husband was seriously injured, reports The Associated Press.

The drunk driver that killed McCarthy drove off, but he was captured soon thereafter. He has been identified as 28-year-old Abel Hernandez of Lakewood, New Jersey. He faces numerous charges, including death by auto and DUI, reports the AP.

While Hernandez faces serious penalties and jail time under New Jersey DWI laws, Pennsylvania residents should know that he would face equally harsh penalties had this accident happened in PA.

In Pennsylvania, someone convicted of a vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol faces a felony in the second degree charge. With this charge, the defendant faces a minimum three year prison term and could go to jail for as long as ten years. The difference between three years and ten years is a lot, and a judge will usually consider several facts and circumstances when doling out the appropriate penalty, such as the driver's behavior post-accident and any prior history of DUIs.

Abel Hernandez attempted to flee after striking and killing Jean McCarthy in the Toms River DUI. A judge would likely consider this hit and run during sentencing and issue a penalty with more jail time.

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