A 72-year-old man walking along Gore Road in Frederick County, Virginia (VA), lost his life after getting hit by a car. The driver responsible for causing the fatal pedestrian accident initially fled the scene of the crash in the town of Gore, but returned to surrender to county and state law enforcement officers investigating the collision. The suspect told police he stopped when he felt the impact, saw legs in the street, panicked and continued home.
Even though the driver eventually stepped up to accept responsibility, his first decision to run leaves him open to criminal prosecution and also potentially liable for paying punitive damages following a civil court proceeding. As a county sheriff's lieutenant told television station WHAG, "To the people who may or may not knowingly leave the scene after striking a pedestrian, I can only tell you it's going to make matters worse," He also noted that any excuse the person responsible for such a crash might have to fear criminal charges, such as being drunk or becoming distracted behind the wheel, could not justify driving off without checking on and making some attempt to help someone they have struck and injured.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our condolences to the friends and family members of the victim killed in this accident. We also urge anyone reading this to take the officer's admonition to stay on site following a crash to heart.