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Wrongful death? Driver flees after vehicle kills young man

New York motorists have a duty to drive carefully and with a due regard to public safety. When they breach that duty, serious accidents can occur, resulting in personal injury or even wrongful death. Tragically, it appears one motorist may not have been paying sufficient attention to the road when he struck a pedestrian.

The fatal accident happened in Hyde Park around 11:05 p.m. on Feb. 11 along Crum Elbow Road. A 23-year-old man was walking alongside the road when a driver struck him and then fled from the scene. Hours later at 7:55 a.m. the next day, a man came forward to officers in Hyde Park to say that he thought he hit a deer “or some other object” the previous night on the same road. At this time, police have not made any arrests, and an investigation continues into the accident.

Here, if the man who believed he had struck a deer was the same man who struck the 23-year-old man, then he may still be liable for the accident regardless of the truth of his story. Moreover, because this accident resulted in the death of a young man, the driver could face a wrongful death suit from the victim’s family.

A wrongful death is a legal term referring to the type of death caused by the negligent or willful conduct of another, and that may well be the case here. For the family, their loss is enormous, and New York law can certainly not provide them with any amount of amends to make up for the loss of this man. However, through a wrongful death suit, they may be able to recoup compensation for funeral expenses and other damages as well as send a message that negligent driving will not be tolerated on New York roadways.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “Hyde Park man, 23, killed in hit-and-run accident,” Feb. 12, 2012