Panic is a common reaction when a motorist hits a pedestrian. After a pedestrian accident, some drivers will continue on the road for a ways, even dragging the victim under a car or carrying them on the windshield. Other drivers may travel all the way home before rethinking their actions, while others stop and remain on the scene. California residents may want to vilify drivers who don’t stop, but in some cases the reaction is simply one of adrenaline and shock, not of malicious wrong-doing.
Even so, drivers who are at fault in a pedestrian accident can be held accountable for their negligence or actions in several ways. In some cases — and certainly in hit-and-run cases — both criminal and civil channels can be explored.
One California driver has been arrested after turning himself in following a pedestrian accident. According to authorities, a woman was hit in the early morning of June 19. The incident occurred along Interstate 5, and the police found the woman dead at the scene when they arrived.
Originally, the police believed they were looking for the driver of a black Dodge Charger. A man called them the same morning of the accident and informed them he’d been in an accident. The man drove a black Ford Focus.
The California Highway Patrol said the 32-year-old driver was arrested. He was scheduled to be arraigned the next week.
Although an arrest and criminal action against a driver is one way to hold the person responsible, it doesn’t leave victims or their families with compensation for losses. Even in light of criminal charges, victims have a right to seek civil remedies against an at-fault driver.
Source: KFMB AM, “Fatal hit-and-run driver turns himself in to CHP” Kelly Hessedal, Jun. 19, 2014