A hit-and-run collision in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), on the night of November 30, 2017, left a pedestrian dead. The fatal crash happened in the 100 block of South Military Highway near the intersection with Curlew Drive and the ramps to I-264.
Norfolk Police received the call about the collision at around 9:30. Emergency medical personal declared the pedestrian dead from his injuries at the scene, and investigators were able to gather a fairly detailed description of the vehicle involved. They are asking any witnesses or others who may know the whereabouts of a grey or silver 2005-2008 Audi sedan with a missing driver-side mirror and damage to its front end to share their information by calling 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887).
The pedestrian who lost his life was not using a crosswalk, but the driver who fled the scene would still have had legal duties to watch for people in the roadway and to stop after striking someone. Section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code states that
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic … and report his name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information.
Even more importantly, the statute makes it a crime to drive off without making an attempt to “render reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident, including taking such injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital if it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.”
When drivers cause hit-and-run collisions, they sometimes increase the likelihood that crash victims will die. During 2015, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 4,214 crashes in which drivers fled the scene. Those wrecks resulted in 14 deaths.
Victims of hit-and-run collisions and their families can feel they have no chance to hold the at-fault driver responsible for inflicting injuries or causing a death. While it is true that the criminal justice system offers no closure when a fleeing driver cannot be identified and taken into custody, Virginia does require all licensed drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This means that when holding the actual person who is to blame financially accountable is not possible, victims can rely on their own insurance policies to pay compensation and damages. Working with an experienced and caring Virginia wrongful death attorney is often necessary to fully invoke uninsured motorist coverage.