A hit-and-run collision left a 65-year-old pedestrian dead in Dillon County, South Carolina (SC), on the night of April 15, 2017. The fatal crash happened near the South of the Border travel plaza on U.S. 301, just over the line from North Carolina.
According to investigators with the state Highway Patrol, the at-fault driver fled immediately after striking the elderly woman, whose permanent address was in Florida. A tip from a member of the public allowed law enforcement officials to track down the owner of the vehicle of the vehicle and make an arrest. A preliminary charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death against the suspected hit-and-run driver. Other charges may follow.
The pedestrian died before reaching a hospital. Research compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that older people are particularly prone to losing their lives in collisions. During 2013, for instance, 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a victim older than 65. In that same year, according to the CDC, “an estimated 52,482 older adults were treated in emergency departments each year for non-fatal pedestrian injuries.”
Regarding the criminal offense, section 56-5-1210 of the South Carolina Code of Laws states that
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of a person immediately shall stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible. He then shall return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 56-5-1230 [which concern sharing information with police]. However, he may temporarily leave the scene to report the accident to the proper authorities. The stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
Neglecting these duties does not merely violate statutory law. Fleeing a crash scene leaves victims without treatment for injuries and makes collecting compensation and damages from responsible parties extremely difficult.
When a hit-and-run driver cannot be found, or when the at-fault driver is identified but lacks insurance coverage, victims can resort to coverage under uninsured motorist provisions of their own auto insurance policies. This is never a welcome option, and it is not always an easy one. Working with a dedicated and empathetic Carolina wrongful death attorney can help family members of a deceased crash victim clear obstacles put in place by an insurance company.