Leaving the scene of an accident is never a good idea, especially if the accident involves personal injury or death. Leaving the scene is a crime independently of other factors, but if the accident involves injury or death, the flight from the scene may involve additional criminal charges that have significant penalties. This possibility has been demonstrated by the results of a three-vehicle crash on August 6 in Hanover County.
The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a driver who fled from the scene of a three-vehicle accident that occurred at about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday night and involved one fatality. According to witnesses, a southbound Jeep Wrangler was driving recklessly on Route 54. Before police arrived, the Jeep sideswiped another Jeep and then struck a Subaru head-on. The Subaru burst into flames on impact. The driver and sole occupant of the Subaru was taken to a nearby hospital. The front-seat passenger in the wrong-way Jeep was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The second passenger in the Jeep was found dead in the rear seat.
The driver of the wrong-way Jeep fled the scene on foot and is still at large. Police have obtained a warrant for his arrest that charges him with felony hit-and-run driving. The warrant also states that additional charges are pending and may be added depending upon the results of the police investigation.
The suspect in this case faces very serious criminal charges. If convicted of the charges, the defendant will face a significant period of incarceration, loss of driving privileges and perhaps a significant fine. The defendant is, of course, presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense attorney can put this presumption to good use by reviewing the evidence, suggesting legal defenses based upon any procedural mistakes by the sheriff’s office and, if appropriate, negotiating a helpful plea agreement.