Virginia Beach, VA, police are asking members of the public for help with identifying a hit-and-run driver who killed a bicyclist on the night of May 25, 2021. The deadly collision happened near the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Byrd Lane shortly before 10 pm.
Emergency responders found the deceased bike rider in the roadway. Evidence at the scene indicated the fleeing driver was traveling east in a dark blue Mercedes Benz sedan. The force of the crash likely did significant damage to the driver’s side door, as investigators found proof that the driver’s side mirror was torn off, the windshield was shattered and headlight was smashed in.
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Tips from witnesses and individuals who spot the suspect’s vehicle can be submitted online or made anonymously by calling 888-LOCK-U-UP (888-562-5887). Fleeing the scene of the crash in which someone suffers fatal injuries is a felony.
As explained in section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code:
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, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property. The driver shall also 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.
What if the Driver Is Never Found?
First, it is important to understand that the bike rider who lost his life after being hit was probably operating legally. State law and Virginia Beach city ordinances classify bicycles as vehicles. Riding on Virginia Beach Boulevard, while perhaps not advisable, is permitted.
This gives car and truck drivers legally enforceable duties to watch for and share the road with bicyclists. Drivers who do not yield right of way while turning or who fail to leave sufficient space while passing violate those duties. Resulting crashes create legal liability for compensating victims of personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
But this was a hit-and-run collision. It is possible that the fleeing driver could avoid answering for their actions simply because police never identify the person, leaving the deceased bike rider’s family with no one to sue.
Virginia recognizes this reality by requiring each auto insurance policy issued in the state to include uninsured motorist provisions. This coverage can be invoked following hit-and-run injuries and deaths. Receiving an uninsured motorist settlement does involve going through most of the steps needed to take on another driver’s insurance company. Completing the process with the advice and representation of an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney increases the chances that crash victims will not have to pay all the costs out of their pockets.