A fatal multi-vehicle accident that took place on a New York highway in May has resulted in a motorcyclist being charged with criminally negligent homicide. On April 16, the motorcyclist pleaded not guilty to the charge. His defense lawyer referred to the accident as very tragic.

The Westchester County district attorney’s office and police say that the fatal collision took place along Sprain Brook Parkway, a suburban highway in Elmsford. While allegedly driving his motorcycle recklessly, the accused man clipped a passenger car. As a result of the collision, the car that was hit spun out of control and struck a second motorcycle that was traveling in a different lane.

The driver of the second motorcycle was killed as a result of the wreck while the driver of the first motorcycle remained hospitalized with injuries for one month. According to reports, the man who was killed in the wreck was a professional DJ known as Father Shaheed. He was also a member of a New Jersey-based rap group called the Poor Righteous Teachers that recorded multiple albums in the 1990s.

After a fatal motorcycle accident, the driver at fault may or may not be charged with criminal offenses. This will have no bearing on any civil liability, and the family members of a deceased victim may wish to file a civil lawsuit against the driver whose actions caused their loved one’s death. Damages that could be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit could include funeral and burial expenses as well as other pecuniary amounts to compensate for the loss of future support from the decedent.

Source: UT San Diego, “Biker faces homicide charge in NY crash that killed rapper,” April 17, 2015