It is always stressful when one's car breaks down. Between the need to determine what's wrong with the vehicle and the threat that the diagnosis will prove costly or time-consuming to fix, the situation is rarely a good one. For a 44-year-old California woman who was hit by a car last year, engine trouble was not just an annoying inconvenience -- it was deadly.
The woman was presumably having issues with her car and pulled to the side of the road and parked. She was standing outside her vehicle when she was struck by an oncoming car. The car then continued down the road without stopping to check on the woman's condition or determine if she needed assistance, according to police reports.
The woman was taken by air ambulance to a California hospital. Unfortunately, her injuries were too severe to respond successfully to treatment. The woman died while in the hospital.
Police later located the man thought responsible for the fatal collision. He was charged with causing and then leaving the accident, to which he pleaded no contest. He received a sentence of almost one year in jail, followed by three years probation.
Although a resolution of the man's criminal charges has now been reached in a California courtroom, his legal battles concerning the woman he hit by a car may not yet be over. The surviving family of the woman retains the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him in a civil court. Any resulting compensation, which must be based upon proof of his negligence, could be useful when settling the deceased woman's estate to cover any medical or funeral expenses she may have incurred in this tragic accident. The fact that the man was already convicted in criminal court may be useful in seeking to establish financial liability in civil court.
Source: Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Driver gets close to year in jail for fatal hit-and-run on Highway 14, Jim Holt, March 5, 2014