We have been posting often about the trend in hit-and-run accidents, including drivers who have hit pedestrians and left the scene. Finally, we have a story about a driver who did the lawful thing, the right thing and the only thing that could save a life. This past week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a woman was struck and killed on the Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw.
The accident happened in very early morning hours near the entrance to a mobile home park. I have represented injured pedestrians in the Atlanta region for two decades as an Atlanta pedestrian injury lawyer and there are some times during the day in which these accidents are more prone to occur.
The sad truth is that what makes this story newsworthy, aside from the tragedy of loss of life that possibly could have been prevented, is the fact that the driver contacted authorities saying that he thought he might have hit something on the roadway and he did not know what it was. Lately and across the country, there is a growing trend for motorists to hit pedestrians, cyclists, bikers and other vehicles and leave the scene, which is a crime. The reports indicate that when the police arrived, the deceased woman was in the middle of the road. My sympathies go out to the family of the deceased woman.
Cobb County police will not file charges against the driver. We do not know why the woman was in the road or her condition at the time she was hit by this vehicle. We do know that the driver followed the law and contacted officials regarding his concern that he might have hit something. Although it appears that he did not get out of his car after the incident to see what he had hit and the fact that he did not know that he had struck a person might have exonerated him from the duty to stop and provide assistance in certain circumstances.
Georgia law prohibits hit and run in pedestrian accidents. In fact, it is a crime to strike a pedestrian and fail to stop to provide support or help. But what if the driver doesn’t know he or she hit a person and contacts authorities as occurred here. Official Code of Georgia section 40-6-270 requires that after a crash, drivers must stop as close to the scene as possible.
Our laws also require those in such circumstances to seek medical support for the injured pedestrian when injuries are involved or where the injured person appears to be unconscious or deceased. But in this case, it was likely dark and the driver was unsure what had happened. This honest response, an immediate call to authorities was apparently enough effort for this driver to avoid any criminal liability.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, please contact me for a free evaluation. We serve accident victims throughout the Atlanta metro area with several convenient offices. We are dedicated to supporting victims of injury and their families.