Serial Drunken Driver Accused in Fatal New Jersey Crash

September 17, 2009

A Philadelphia man who had been arrested for drunken driving seven times in 13 years is charged with death by auto after a crash in New Jersey.

Authorities say John lawless was drunk again.

Police say the 37-year-old swerved across the center line in Lower Township and hit another vehicle Saturday, killing Frederick Shelton and critically injuring the man’s wife and 13-year-old daughter.

Lawless has been in and out of alcohol treatment and jail since 1996.

Lower Township Police Chief Edward Donohue says Lawless should not have been on the road.

Stephen DeMaio, a lawyer who has represented him, says it’s sad because Lawless is “an otherwise nice guy.”

Lawless is being held on bail of $100,000.

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