Drunk Driver Who Severely Injured Pedestrian in Hit-and-Run Convicted in Virginia Beach | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Drunk and apparently distracted by text message coming in on his cell phone, Virginia Beach, VA, resident Dorek Emanuel Hayes hit Mary Edwards as the 72-year-old woman attempted to cross Honeygrove Road in the early evening of December 30, 2009. Edwards suffered “broken legs and ankles, cracked ribs and bruised lungs” in the hit-and-run accident and remains hospitalized, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

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After pleading guilty to both a felony charge of DUI and causing serious injury while driving drunk, Hayes also received a conviction on charges related to leaving the scene of an accident. He will be sentenced on August 30, 2010, when he could receive as much as 10 years in jail.

The past six months have seen several serious and deadly pedestrian accidents in Virginia Beach and the other cities of Hampton Roads. Drivers in the Commonwealth normally must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and at corners, but people in cars and trucks need to watch out for even people crossing in the middle of the street. Even when pedestrians act irresponsibly, drivers need to remember that they can cause life-threatening and fatal injuries. And certainly, if an accident does occur, drivers must stop and attend to the victim.

The conviction of the man who hurt her may bring Edwards some mental comfort, but her physical pain will likely continue for several more months — if not years. I wish her a speedy recovery.