If your vehicle has ever stalled on a highway or busy street, you may remember feeling nervous about being exposed to traffic as you tried to fix the problem or call for help. As cars and large trucks rush past you, you run the risk of being hit even if you're fully pulled over on the side of the road. These accidents do happen, unfortunately, and they're quite often fatal.
If a passing car does hit a stalled motorist or their vehicle, the driver is expected to stop and render aid just as in any other accident, no matter who's at fault. A man from Germantown, Maryland, was sentenced earlier this week to 16 months in prison, in part for failing to do that.
A man was driving his moped across a bridge in Washington, D.C., in February 2011 when the bike stalled. As he attempted to push-start it on the side of the road, other cars saw him and moved to the left to pass him safely. But one man drove onto the bridge and didn't see the man pushing his moped. Without slowing down or stopping, the man hit the moped rider, who was thrown onto the hood of the car. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The car's air bag deployed and the driver stopped for a moment, but then quickly fled the scene without getting out of his car. Another driver who saw the accident followed him and recorded his license plate number to give to police. A police trooper spotted the car, which was missing a right front tire and had front-end damage and sparks flying from it. Police said the driver failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breath test after he was stopped.
Having admitted to drinking before the crash, the driver ultimately pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, operating while impaired and leaving the scene of an accident. Although he'll serve 16 months of prison, followed by a year of supervised release, it will be up to the victim's family to file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death if they hope to gain any compensation from the driver for taking their loved one's life.
Source: 9 News Now, "Anthony Randolph Sentenced For Negligent Homicide After Fatal Moped Accident On Key Bridge," March 19, 2012