On Friday, January 13, a hit and run driver was sentenced to 199 days in jail – the exact number of days the victim survived after being hit. The fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Oct. 16, 2021, in Greensboro, NC. The 28-year-old victim was in a crosswalk at the intersection of Spring Street and Friendly Avenue at 1:53 a.m. when police say she was hit by a 2007 Ford Focus.
According to police reports, the driver was traveling at approximately 45 mph through the intersection. She did have a green light and the right of way. Witnesses to the accident say after hitting the victim, she stopped, looked back, but then sped away, with the victim’s hair in the car’s cracked windshield.
The impact of the crash threw the victim 55 feet across the intersection. She was left with multiple injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Although she was making slow progress and showing improvement, she later developed sepsis and pneumonia and died from her injuries on May 1, 2022. According to her father, the medical bills for her care totaled more than $1 million.
The driver of the vehicle was later charged with felony hit and run, driving with a revoked license, and not having insurance.
How Are Hit and Run Drivers Found?
It is almost impossible to imagine that a driver who has hit someone with their vehicle would just flee the scene, leaving the victim hurt and in need of medical help. Tragically, this is a scene that plays out over and over again every single day. In fact, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 20 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents are classified as hit and run events.
While it may seem impossible to find a hit and run driver in these cases, the truth is that the majority of fleeing drivers are eventually caught. There are many tools available to investigators as they gather evidence at the scene and take witness statements. One of the most crucial sources of evidence is video cameras. Video cameras are now almost everywhere – outside of businesses, homes, on traffic signals, and more. Many of these incidents end up being recorded by one or more cameras.
Evidence left behind at the scene is also another way that drivers are caught. Pieces of the vehicle often end up on the ground or on the victim’s clothing. If there are witnesses, they are also a good source of providing descriptions of the vehicle and fleeing driver. And while all of this evidence may be eventually used in any criminal case against the driver, it can also be used against the fleeing driver for any civil cases that a victim and/or their family can file to recover damages for the losses the accident has caused them.
Contact a Carolinas Personal Injury Law Firm
Whether you have been a victim of a hit and run driver or you have lost a loved one in a hit and run accident, Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys to find out what legal recourse you may have.
If you have been the victim, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and more.
If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver responsible for your family member’s death. These cases are separate from any criminal charges that law enforcement may bring against the at-fault driver.