A motorist who may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs struck and killed a pedestrian in Vancouver, Washington on Monday morning. The pedestrian, a woman, was killed on Andresen Road near Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive.
The driver fled the accident but crashed his car nearby where he was apprehended.
The Columbian reports that several people had called 911 after witnessing a dark-maroon sedan driving recklessly on Interstate 205.
Early reports said that police were chasing the driver but those reports may have been erroneous.
Washington law makes it illegal for a driver to flee an accident in which a person is seriously injured. This driver faces serious consequences for leaving the scene of an accident and faces charges of Vehicular Homicide.
It is shocking to learn that nearly 20% of all fatal pedestrian accident are caused by hit-and-run drivers. While law enforcement tends to have a pretty successful rate in arresting hit-and-run drivers and penalties are stiff, hit-and-run driving continues to be high, especially when pedestrians and bicyclists are involved.
Why do drivers leave the scene of an accident? Often, the driver is intoxicated and they fear being charged with a DUI especially when it is not their first offense. Some drunk drivers are so intoxicated that they are not even aware that they have been in an accident. In the case of the accident today, this driver may have been so intoxicated that he may have not realized he was driving recklessly. Some drivers flee the scene of an accident because they are driving a stolen vehicle or driving without insurance, registration or driver’s license. Others flee because they fear the consequences of their actions.
Hit and run accidents are an ongoing problem in Washington state. While it is difficult, there are some remedies you can take against a hit-and-run driver. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Washington personal inury attorney as soon as possible after the accident so your rights are protected.
Often, the hit-and-run driver is apprehended shortly after the accident or identified later on. Eyewitnesses can help identify the driver or friend and neighbors of the driver, mechanics, or others may report a hit-and-driver after hearing news about an accident. Other times, family members convince the driver to turn themselves in.
There are time limits, however, in pursing an uninsured motorist claim so it is important that injured parties contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist when the accident occurred, your uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy should cover damages. Often, the insurance company will also assist you in identifying the hit-and-run driver so that they do not have to pay your claim.