Morgantown, WV: State Police have reported that a 20-year-old male was killed in an accident early Sunday morning when a vehicle crossed the center line on Hartman Run Road near the Woodland Terrace mobile home village at 12:50 a.m.
Stiff Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents in West Virginia
This crash involved two vehicles. The 20-year-old man was a passenger in a Dodge Neon and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the second car, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, fled the scene on foot. According to Morgantown personal injury lawyer Jeff Robinette, West Virginia’s Erin’s Law forces hit-and-run drivers to take responsibility for their harmful, illegal acts.
The law increases the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in which there is an injury or death. With Erin’s Law in place, hit-and-run drivers will face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
A 23 year old man has been arrested and is facing charges after fleeing the deadly car crash in Monongalia County. Bond has been set at $50,000 and he faces up to five years in prison. According to reports, this is not the first arrest for this driver. In the past, he was arrested for driving a get-away car from a robbery and DUI.
The 19 year old female driver was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. She was able to give a statement to police before going to the hospital for treatment.
The collision is still under investigation, but another factor which will be considered is the speed of the vehicles. Speed is also often a factor on Hartman Run Road — the posted limit is 35 mph and often vehicles are traveling 50 mph or more as they are traveling down the hill toward Woodland Terrace.
This accident is an illustration of why it is so very important to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own vehicle. Chances are this 23 year old driver either did not have car insurance or at least is underinsured and would provide little to no compensation for the injuries and wrongful death which resulted from his negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash by a hit-and-run driver, a Morgantown personal injury attorney can assess your case and help determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages.
WAJR News, “Morgantown deadly crash under investigation,” November 3, 2014.
Dominion Post, “Police ID Accident Victim,” Alex Lang, November 6, 2014.