When it comes to hit-and-run accidents, Virginia residents understand that time is of the essence. Identifying, locating and arresting the driver believed responsible for such an accident becomes a priority for law enforcement officials investigating the incident. Not only is it necessary to preserve as much evidence as possible that could disappear over time, but the family of the victim or victims deserves answers.
Fortunately, the family of a 53-year-old bicycle rider did not have to wait long for police to locate the man allegedly responsible for his death. The accident occurred on the evening of March 21 on Route 122 in Virginia. The fleeing driver hit the bicyclist from behind before leaving the scene. The bicyclist was rushed to an area hospital to be treated for the injuries he suffered that night. Sadly, by the next day, he succumbed to those injuries and died at the hospital.
The 26-year-old driver taken into custody by police on March 24 faces charges of felony hit-and-run. The official investigation is not yet concluded, and authorities are searching for anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the events leading up to it. No information on who contacted emergency dispatchers regarding the crash was released.
The family of the victim may not be thinking about filing a civil action at this point, but under Virginia law, they retain the right to do so. Successfully proving negligence on the part of the driver who struck him could lead to an award of damages such as burial and funeral costs and pain and suffering. Receiving such monetary restitution will not bring back their loved one, but it could help with the financial burdens that arise when such a tragedy occurs.
Source: smithmountaineagle.com, "Arrest made in fatal hit and run in Moneta", Rebecca Jackson, March 26, 2014