A hit-and-run collision in Aiken County, South Carolina (SC), left a pedestrian dead on the night of January 14, 2016. The victim was identified in news reports as a 15-year-old from the town of Beech Island who succumbed to multiple trauma.
Police located and arrested the at-fault driver within hours. Although investigators ruled the crash itself accidental, a charge for fleeing the scene of a collision resulting in death has been filed against the driver. Laws in every state obligate drivers involved in crashes to stop and check on the health of other individuals. Heeding that legal obligation can make the difference between life and death when remaining on the scene leads to quicker alerting of emergency medical personnel and the rendering of first aid until an ambulance arrives.
At best, hit-and-run drivers are negligent in failing to help people they have harmed. Even when a driver did not commit a clear error or act recklessly, he or she must still be willing to assist victims. Too many lives are lost when drivers decide that potentially avoiding liability outweighs their duty to help others.
In less-serious crashes, drivers must also remain on site to speak with police, exchange insurance information and face up to the consequences. Otherwise, hit-and-run collisionss can leave victims suffering both whatever immediate hardships the wreck inflicts and the financial burden of paying medical bills and repair costs out of their own pockets. My Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues and I have been able to help many hit-and-run victims recover, but we recognize no one should ever be placed in that position.