A fatal hit-and-run car and bicycle accident that took place in the Miami area is receiving media attention due to the driver involved so far having escaped all criminal liability. The accident also raises pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns as the victim of the crash happened to be a cyclist.
The driver thought to be responsible for the crash was reportedly at a Coconut Grove bar before the accident occurred. At approximately 6:00 a.m. the driver then got behind the wheel of a car and struck two bicyclists that were riding eastbound on Rickenbacker Causeway. The driver then left the scene of the accident and one of the bicycle riders died several hours later.
Finding out precisely what occurred has proven difficult. The suspect turned himself into police some 12 hours later purportedly after police discovered damage to the suspect’s vehicle. However, because there was such a delay in locating the suspect police were unable to administer any blood alcohol test that would show whether the driver was impaired at the time that the accident occurred.
Family members and friends of the deceased bicycle rider will undoubtedly be frustrated by the inability of authorities to prosecute the suspect thought to be responsible for the crash. Lack of evidence appears to have made it impossible to convict this individual for criminal wrongdoing.
Yet a failure to press criminal charges does not mean that such individuals are out of options. Family members of the deceased bicyclist may still have the ability to pursue a wrongful death action against the driver in civil court. Personal injury attorneys can admit certain evidence into civil cases that may not be allowed to be brought in a criminal matter. Also, such attorneys may have additional resources to commence an independent investigation as to what occurred.
Sadly, the bicycle rider that died was a 36-year old father of two children. It appears that his life was tragically cut short due to the carelessness of another individual. Though it can never make up for the loss of a life, a wrongful death action may at least make it possible for his children and family to be compensated for what occurred. Perhaps it will also bring added attention to the need for more safety when it comes to drivers and bicycles sharing the road.
Source: Huffington Post, Aaron Cohen Hit-and-Run: Michele Traverso Reportedly Escapes DUI Manslaughter Charge, May 4, 2012
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