Driver accused of hit and run says he did not

A motorist accused of hit-and-run and vehicular homicide in Marietta says he did stop after a deadly chain-reaction accident and gave a statement to police-he just did not stop until he reached Atlanta, a few miles south of the crash site. He asserts that the hit-and-run charge is simply the result of a law enforcement miscommunication.

Police said the RV struck a Toyota Camry on Interstate 75 northwest of Atlanta Saturday. The Camry struck a Prius, which hit the median and flipped, killing a 40-year-old man. The driver did turn himself in after police located his recreational vehicle in Cape Coral, Florida, and contacted him.

This news story is tragic. It resulted in a person losing their life, and raises the question of what is the legal obligation of a driver of a vehicle involved in any kind of accident.

Under Georgia law, a driver responsible for an accident that causes personal injury, death, or vehicle damage must stop their vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible and return to the scene of the accident and must stop without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. The responsible driver must provide his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number. If it is requested, the driver must show his or her driver's license to the operator, occupants, or attendant of the other vehicle involved.

In addition to stopping, the driver is required to provide a reasonable amount of assistance to injured persons involved in the accident. This includes making arrangements for or transporting the injured victims to a medical or hospital facility when it is necessary. The responsible driver must stay at the accident scene until all requirements of the law are fulfilled. If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of the law may be found guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, faces punishment by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

If such accident is the proximate cause of an injury other than a serious injury or if such accident results in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person, any person who knowingly fails to stop or comply with the requirements of the law may be found guilty of a misdemeanor; the punishment may include a fine and imprisonment and the potential punishment increases if it is a second or third violation.

Anyone who the injured as a result of a hit-and-run driver or any motor vehicle accident should seek the advice of an experience Georgia personal injury attorney.