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Drugs may have played role in fatal Maryland car accident

Most of us are aware of the dangers and prevalence of drunk driving. The practice causes countless car accidents in Maryland every year, even though the laws are very clear about the penalties drivers face if they're convicted of DUI. We tend to hear less about drivers under the influence of drugs, but they're out there, and unfortunately, they cause plenty of crashes, too.

A 28-year-old woman accused of causing a fatal car accident last July in Bel Air, Maryland, is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. She was indicted last week in Harford County Circuit Court on charges of motor vehicle negligent homicide, negligent homicide while under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to control speed to avoid collision, speeding, failure to drive right of center and driving without a license. She's currently being held without bail at the county detention center.

The crash happened one day last July about 10:15 a.m., when the woman's vehicle collided head-on with another car. The other driver's 64-year-old wife was sitting in the passenger seat and suffered the most serious injuries. Both she and her husband were rushed to a hospital, as was the woman who caused the crash and her passenger. But the 64-year-old woman didn't survive.

Although the woman who caused the crash is accused of being under the influence of drugs, the deputy state's attorney couldn't disclose exactly what type of drugs the woman might have taken, and whether they were illegal or prescription drugs. This distinction could affect the criminal charges and resulting penalties against her. For the family of the woman who died, a DUI conviction could help if they choose to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Whether the drugs in question were legal or illegal, driving under their influence puts everyone at great risk.

Source: ExploreHarford.com, "Bel Air woman indicted in connection with 2011 fatal accident," Kayla Bawroski, May 29, 2012

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