Pennsylvania hit-and-run: fatal accident earns guilty plea
Hit-and-run accidents can be devastating to those who are injured and to the families of anyone who may have been killed. Pittsburgh hit-and-run accidents are all too common, as they are throughout Pennsylvania. When an accident occurs and one party to it doesn’t stop, particularly if the incident proved to be a fatal accident, a plethora of reasons may be offered. Nonetheless, drivers have a responsibility to one another to maintain a high regard for public safety.
In July 2005, a 27-year-old Pennsylvania man from Shelocta was charged with the hit-and-run death of a 29-year-old bicyclist. The faulted driver originally fled the scene and later told police that he thought he had hit a speed bump.
Reports about the case say the cyclist had struck a construction barrel, causing him to fall into the road where he was subsequently hit by the car. The driver later said that he had noticed a man laying in the road when he looked in his rearview mirror, yet he did not stop. The driver recently pleaded guilty in Indiana County to misdemeanor criminal charges and stood up in court to take responsibility for the accident.
For loved ones, a guilty plea in a fatal accident case like this may not be enough. While nothing can bring back a loved one who has died, the family may be entitled to monetary compensation. When someone admits guilt or has been found guilty in a criminal proceeding they can also be held responsible monetarily where evidence demonstrates that negligent or intentional conduct caused the fatality. Often, this type of compensation is put toward final expenses and to ease pain and suffering.
While it is not known if the deceased bicyclist’s family chose to pursue a wrongful death civil action in this case, they indicate that they at least feel some sense of closure now that the case has finally resulted in a criminal conviction.
Source: Daily Local News, “Pa. man pleads to hit-run in 2005 cyclist’s death,” (http://www.dailylocal.com/article/DL/20120506/NEWS03/120509674) May 6, 2012