This past week, two teens lost their lives and one was injured after a tragic and senseless hit-and run crash. Before going further, we want to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and the community that is directly affected by this tragedy. Loss of young life, any life, in such a senseless way is all the more difficult to bear and comprehend. The community is mourning the loss of these young lives which occurred as three friends walked on a spring day on a local sidewalk. The teens were struck by a vehicle in which the driver lost control. The facts are under investigation, but the initial understanding is that the driver was speeding in an attempt to catch another vehicle whose driver avoided paying for locksmith services that had been performed. Allegedly, when the non-paying driver attempted to leave without paying, the locksmith chased him. The locksmith allegedly lost control of his car, which ended up on the sidewalk where the teens were walking and struck them. He is alleged to have left the scene after hitting the teens.
It is difficult to comprehend, but this is the scenario that the authorities have provided for the arrests of the locksmith driver and the non-paying customer. The driver who hit the teens was arrested later still fleeing from responsibility. Both drivers have now been arrested and both drivers are now charged with several violations of Georgia law, including homicide by vehicle in the first degree which is found at Official Code of Georgia section 40-6-393 and several other related charges. The locksmith is also accused of hit and run causing serious injury.
The teens were students at Tri-Cities High School. One of the teen’s mom is the chief judge of East Point where the community is grieving along with the families whose lives have been forever altered by this tragedy. This horrific situation has become another tragic hit-and-run in the epidemic across America that involves pedestrian deaths and the failure of drivers to take responsibility for their actions, leaving the scene of an accident.
Over the past several years, pedestrian deaths rose across the nation. Recently, we have learned that after consistent increases in pedestrian fatalities, the Governors Highway Safety Association noted a drop in early 2013. In the first six months of 2013, there were about 2,000 pedestrians that lost their lives being hit by vehicles. That number was about 2,200 for these same period in 2012. The pattern is still being considered, since the cause in the rise of these deaths and the cause in the drop are yet to be determined. One possible reason for this drop might be that more people are in their vehicles as the economy improves. On the other hand, the distraction we have all noted on the part of both walkers and drivers, could be the cause for the increase that was seen in years passed. Authorities and those studying these statistics are uncertain whether the lower death rate will remain a pattern or is simply an anomaly.
Many cities and states are working on enforcement against distracted driving. And other organizations are attempting to make both walking and bicycling safer for all. Some states have enlisted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help them assess how they are doing with both bike and pedestrian safety efforts. Some of the changes that have been seen across the country are greater enforcement of speed laws, larger bike lanes and installation of sidewalks.
For two decades, Scholle Law has provided our community with legal representation to those who are dealing with injury after an accident. As a part of our work, we help families deal with accident and injury by relieving them of the burden of dealing with the legal and insurance aspects of accident and support them in finding medical care. If you need support and guidance after an injury, please feel free to contact our law firm for a consultation at no charge regarding your matter.