Criminal charges have been filed against a 17-year-old boy for killing a 52-year-old man in a hit-and-run car accident. His family members persuaded the nearly blind teenager to go to Mexico after the accident and assisted him. He later came back to the U.S., and police arrested him while he was hiding in a closet of the apartment of a family friend.
Prosecutors are charging the teen as an adult for this hit-and-run accident. Witnesses to the accident said they saw the teen's vehicle slow down and then swerve around the victim's body in the road. The girlfriend of the accused teen said she was riding in the car with him. She said that they had been arguing and that the accident occurred when he tried to hug her. The young man also has an eye condition that causes near blindness. As a result, he never could get a driver's license.
Authorities also charged the teen's 21-year-old brother with a misdemeanor for helping his brother flee to Mexico, helping hide him when he came back, and for trying to repair damage to the car after his younger brother hit the pedestrian. The district attorney's office is investigating the teen's family members for any other involvement they had in the cover-up of the teen's accident.
The teen is being held in jail on a $100,000 cash bond. His older brother is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. Both brothers are scheduled to appear in court soon.
This is an example of a case where a defendant may be criminally liable and liable in civil damages. In cases in which a fatal accident is caused by another person's negligence, the family of the victim may have the right to sue for wrongful death. While no amount of money can ever replace a loved one, collecting financial compensation can help cover funeral costs, medical expenses and other damages. The sudden loss of a loved one shouldn't bring financial hardship.
Source: greenbaypressgazette.com, "Two face charges in Green Bay fatal hit-and-run," Paul Srubas, Aug. 30, 2012