Public employee struck pedestrian, left scene

When someone hits another car or a pedestrian, the responsible—and lawful—thing to do is get out, check to see whether the other party is injured, and exchange insurance information. But not all drivers act responsibly—or lawfully. Some drivers simply drive away when they hit another car, leaving the other person to deal with the damage.

Hit-and-runs drivers come from all walks of life. Sometimes, they can even be public employees. One example is a recent Maryland case in which a city employee fatally struck a pedestrian, then left the scene.

A hit-and-run in a publicly owned vehicle

The 37-year-old Baltimore city employee was on duty in 2016 when he committed a fatal hit-and-run. The man was driving a vacuum vehicle owned by the Department of Public Works. He struck and killed a 54-year-old pedestrian, then fled the scene. Though he was charged with failing to remain on the scene of an accident and failing to provide information, a jury recently acquitted him.

In court, the employee claimed that he did not see the pedestrian and didn’t realize that he had struck him. Baltimore police stated that the man had still committed a crime by leaving the scene. The City of Baltimore did fire the employee, but he has successfully filed for reinstatement.

Legal options after a hit-and-run

The case ended well for this driver, but not for the unfortunate victim. But even if the law acquits someone of criminal charges, they may still face civil penalties. When someone is injured in a hit-and-run, they do have legal options, the most common of which is pursuing criminal and civil charges against the driver. The families of victims who were killed in hit-and-runs also have this option. Sometimes, legal action is the only way to hold hit-and-run drivers accountable for their actions.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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