A 28-year-old Chesapeake man has been arrested for the fatal hit-and-run crash that occurred Tuesday night in downtown Norfolk. The driver, who turned himself into police on Friday night, has been charged with felony hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license.
According to details that have been released by law enforcement, the 27-year-old victim, who was from Philadelphia, was at the intersection of St. Paul’s Boulevard and East Charlotte Street, near Chrysler Hall and Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Station #1 when he was plowed down by a red Jeep SUV driving on St. Paul’s Boulevard as he was attempting to cross the street. Witnesses report that the Jeep never stopped and just sped away after it struck the victim.
The driver’s record reveals a series of traffic violations that began in 2009, with the last one issued just this past September. He is currently being held in Norfolk City Jail without bond.
Fatal Hit and Run Statistics
According to the AAA Foundation, hit and run drivers are responsible for the deaths of 1,500 victims each year. More than half of those victims are usually pedestrians. There are many tragic cases where the driver is never found, however, due to the sophisticated investigation techniques available to police today, approximately 90 percent of drivers who flee the scene of a fatal crash are identified. Investigations are also assisted by the multiple roadway cameras and security system videos that are utilized, as well as witnesses who come forward.
Once a driver is either caught or voluntarily turns themselves in, they then must deal with the consequences of their decision to flee through the criminal justice system. Under Virginia law, a hit and run felony charge is classified as a Class 5 felony. A person convicted of a Class 5 felony faces a one-year minimum prison sentence, up to 10 years, as well as a substantial fine.
But separate from the criminal charges the driver faces, they may also be held liable for the victim’s death in civil court. Families of hit and run victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. This action is entirely separate from the criminal charges the driver faces.
Our Norfolk wrongful death law firm has successfully represented many families whose loved one has been killed in a car accident and we understand that no amount of money can ever take the place of the loved one who was killed. We also understand that the sudden loss is not only emotionally devastating but can also be financially devastating as well. Families are suddenly faced with expensive funeral and burial costs, as well as the loss of income their loved one provided. This financial impact can leave a victim’s family facing terrible financial burdens, even the loss of their home because they can no longer afford the mortgage.
If you have lost a spouse or a family member who has died as a result of a car or truck crash, contact a Virginia wrongful death attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the driver responsible for your loss. We also offer a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide covers topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as personal representative.