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Fleeing after vehicle accidents may deny victims justice

Whether due to fear of prosecution, disorientation or some other strong motivation, some drivers flee from crash scenes. Not only does this hinder the investigations of vehicle accidents, but it also keeps victims and their families from understanding what led to the injuries and deaths that happen. Once hit-and-run drivers are in police custody, those victims and families, whether here in Ohio or elsewhere, may find some justice and closure.

Police track some down, and some of these drivers ultimately turn themselves in, but not all. A motorcycle rider finally turned himself in the following day after crashing his motorcycle into a guardrail the night before. While he was able to flee the scene on the motorcycle, his passenger was not as lucky. The 46-year-old woman died after succumbing to the injuries she suffered in the impact.

Police located the motorcycle believed to be involved in the crash as well. The driver faces numerous felony charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide. Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol have yet to complete their investigation. During his first appearance, the judge set his bail at $250,000. He was denied the opportunity to post a bond.

As the criminal case proceeds, the family of the victim may file a wrongful death claim in an Ohio civil court. If prosecutors secure a conviction on a charge related to the woman's death, it could provide important evidence in the civil action. As is the case in other cases involving deadly vehicle accidents, successfully proving that negligent or reckless actions on the part of another party led to the demise of the victim could result in an award of damages.

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