Last month we posted about a tragic accident that has left a college student non-responsive and still hospitalized. The alleged driver that critically injured her as she walked home from a friend’s birthday party has now been arrested and bond has been set by the court. He is ordered to wear and ankle bracelet while he awaits trial. The accusations against the driver are those I have often seen in cases such as this in my work as a Gwinnett County car accident lawyer and are covered under several provisions of Georgia law.
One of the primary issues in this case is the condition of the driver at the time he allegedly struck the young woman. The young man who was driving the pick up truck that allegedly struck her, is also alleged to have been driving drunk and is charged with DUi. According to reports, he was booked at the Athens-Clarke County Jail and is also charged with, among other charges, felony hit-and-run and serious injury by motor vehicle. These two crimes are also quite serious.
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-270, “[t]he driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident” or as close to the accident as possible. After providing identifying information, the driver also must provide registration information of the vehicle he or she is driving.
Drivers are also mandated by this provision to “[r]ender to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person. It is also required that the driver make reasonable efforts to “ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance.”
The provision also provides for a felony if the accidents is the cause of death or serious injury to others involved. That is what the charge involves in the Athens tragedy.
The driver in this case is also charged with the crime of serious injury by vehicle which is covered under a separate code section Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-394 states that “[w]hoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless … shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle.” A conviction on this charge is a felony. The person found guilty of this charge can be imprisoned for no less than one year, nor more than 15 years.
The victim in this accident is making some progress, but is still not responsive. She is breathing on her own and has some body movement which is a very hopeful sign.
This case reminds us all of the needless tragedy that can result from drinking and driving and the wrongful conduct involved in hit and run. This accident has tragically damaged two young people’s lives, the young man that allegedly drove the pick up truck and the young woman whose future is in the balance at an Athens hospital.