A fatal collision between a car and a pedestrian last October has led to felony criminal charges for the woman accused of hitting the pedestrian with her car and then leaving the scene of the accident. The woman was arraigned on criminal hit and run charges last week, but it is unclear at this time if a civil lawsuit or a wrongful death action is in the future.
The fatal auto accident occurred in the early morning hours of October 19 of this year. The man had reportedly been out celebrating his birthday the night before. At some point, it appears that he ended up with two flat tires and was forced to park his car. At some time before accident, he was seen walking along Route 56 near Black Mountain Road. The weather that particular night apparently included a light drizzle and fog.
The driver of the car has claimed that while driving home that night she hit something, but was unsure what it was. Once she arrived at her home, she called her father to see she had hit something. Upon later learning that there had been a fatality on Route 56, the driver made arranges to turn herself in to authorities.
At this time, it is probably too early to know if this situation will lead to a civil lawsuit, but like most serious auto accidents leading to fatalities, it may be possible for the family of the deceased to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally speaking, if someone was particularly careless or negligent, and it resulted in another person's untimely death, that person's family may have the opportunity to recover some compensation for their loved one's lost income, future earnings, and burial costs.
Source: San Diego Union Tribune, Woman pleads not guilty in fatal hit and run, Dana Littlefield 12/3/10