Two people have been charged following a fatal hit-and-run accident on June 8. A woman was driving a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV north on I-664 near Terminal Blvd. in Newport News.

Around 12:30 a.m., she swerved into the right lane to avoid a traffic slowdown at the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel and hit a 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle operated by 24-year-old Taeisha Shanee Wilson. The crash impact ejected Ms. Wilson from the motorcycle and killed her.

The woman fled the scene in the Tahoe, but Virginia State Police were able to identify her and bring her back. According to a state police news release, she has been charged with felony hit-and-run, and her husband has been charged with obstruction of justice.

Hitting another person and fleeing the scene without even checking to see if the person is hurt is a despicable thing to do, and it’s also illegal. If the woman is found guilty of felony hit-and-run, she deserves to be punished.

I am deeply sorry for Ms. Wilson’s family. They are probably experiencing a barrage of emotions including grief, shock, and anger. To lose a young person is a tragedy; that tragedy is compounded when you know the person who is at-fault acted so callously.

In many hit-and-run accidents the driver is never identified. In those instances, if the family wishes to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation, they have to bring the claim against the victim’s own insurance provider under the victim’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.

Fortunately, the police found the hit-and-run driver in this accident. Regardless of whether the woman is found criminally liable, the family can pursue a civil suit against the driver if they choose.

An experienced wrongful death attorney can help Ms. Wilson’s family and other families in similar situations evaluate a potential claim for damages such as funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. Our firm has successfully settled cases – including claims stemming from hit-and-run accidents – where the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage was not enough to compensate the victim’s family and we had to pursue other sources. We help our clients obtain the best result possible based on the circumstances. See these Frequently Asked Questions for more information about wrongful death lawsuits in Virginia.