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Failure to call 911 after accident leads to arrest of driver

The driver of one of the vehicles in a nighttime car crash has been arrested following what police say was a hit-and-run fatal car accident involving a motorcyclist. According to local news reports, the woman struck the motorcyclist as he slowed down to avoid another accident. He was thrown from the bike and hit by another car, but the driver who initially hit him fled the scene. The second driver did stop and apparently called for help.

It is not clear at this time why the woman fled the scene of the accident and did not for help from emergency services. She told investigators that she was scared but offered no further explanation.

It is safe to say that this behavior is far below the general standard of care that a reasonable person would be expected to take in the event of a car accident. Especially at night, on a highway, with a person who was thrown from a motorcycle, many New Jersey residents would agree that the reasonable course of action would be to call for help.

The woman who fled the scene was arrested for a hit-and-run shortly after her car was spotted being towed from another location. She was identified as the driver using the license plate from her car, which fell off upon impact and was at the scene of the accident.

In addition to criminal charges, the woman may face a wrongful death lawsuit from the family or spouse of the man who was killed. Wrongful death actions are one way that families seek justice for the negligent death of a loved one. Settlements or jury awards from these types of actions can help cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and other damages that resulted from the negligent conduct.

Source: Seattle Times, “Driver calls for tow but not 911 after fatal crash in Anacortes” John de Leon, Aug. 22, 2012

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