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A driver in New York made headlines when he was caught on video climbing into a cab with a car burning in the background. He’d been driving that car, which he’d just crashed. Moreover, his passenger was trapped in the vehicle. She passed away in the inferno.

The man, who is 23 years old, has finally been charged by the authorities. The charges he faces are for vehicular homicide and depraved indifference murder.

The woman who passed away in the crash was 25 years old.

It is worth noting that accounts of the accident differ. To a large degree, the man was seen as a villain after the crash because the footage made it appear that he didn’t stay and help the victim. Not only did he cause her death by causing the accident, but he left her in the car.

His family, though, has told a different story. His brother said that he was a hero. He claimed that the young man tried to get the woman out, suffering serious burns as he did so. He got in the cab only when he couldn’t save her, his brother says, because of his own injuries. No ambulance was on site yet, and he knew he needed to get to the hospital.

Now that he is facing such serious charges, these accounts of the crash are going to become very critical in court.

One thing that is important for people to remember after a car accident, though, is that financial compensation may still be warranted, regardless of the outcome of a criminal case. The criminal case can factor in since it pertains to fault, but it doesn’t define a family’s potential rights to compensation.

Source: ABC, “Driver charged in woman’s death in Gowanus car fire,” Oct. 27, 2017