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Driver, Whose Bikini Top Was Untied, Cleared In Fatal Crash

NEW YORK (UPI) — A teenage driver faced an emergency situation when her bikini top was untied by a passenger and thus is not liable for a 2008 accident, a New York court ruled.

The ruling last week by a Brooklyn appeals court added another twist to an unusual case, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

A car with four teenagers, being driven home from a New Jersey beach by Brittany Lahm, now 24, crashed on the New York State Thruway in Rockland County after passenger Brandon Berman, 19, playfully undid Lahm’s bikini top.

She took her hands off the wheel to cover up. The car struck a guard rail and flipped, killing Berman, the newspaper said. Several others in the car were injured.

The appellate court ruled, in a 3-1 decision, it was reasonable for the Rockland County jury that initially heard the case to conclude the incident was “a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her [Lahm's] own making.”

The decision upheld an earlier decision that came after a civil trial brought by Jason Pelletier, one of the passengers in the car.

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