It seems that headlines lately have been replete with stories about hit-and-run accidents where the victim ends up seriously injured or killed. It is far too common for motorists around California to try and evade responsibility by making a quick getaway from the scene. Just this weekend, we reported a hit-and-run accident involving a bicyclist and his fatal collision with a red-colored Nissan. Police are still looking for the perpetrator of that crime.
What many people may not know is that any person caught assisting a hit-and-run driver in the evasion of justice can be found just as guilty as the driver. In Irvine last week, an accomplice to a fatal hit-and-run was charged with a felony count of acting as an accomplice after the fact and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer. This accomplice faces up to six years in one of California’s tough prisons.
The accident took place in January and involved four vehicles that collided at the Santa Ana intersection of Main Street and MacArthur Blvd. The principle driver was intoxicated at the scene and caused the crash after he ran a red light and entered the intersection while multiple cars were lawfully turning. A female driver, 18, involved in the crash sustained serious injuries at the time of the crash and later died in a nearby hospital. The driver pleaded guilty on February 22 of felony vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence due to his intoxication. The accomplice helped him flee the scene and later persisted in lying to police about the driver’s whereabouts.
With the accomplice’s felony conviction record, sentence enhancements will be available to increase his time behind bars.
This situation will hopefully serve as a reminder to all who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. It should also alert anyone considering helping another person flee the scene of a hit-and-run that that law always catches up with the accomplice. Law enforcement is notorious for using the accomplice to locate the principle perpetrator of a crime and will stop at nothing to extract information from the abettor. It is always best to use honesty in any situation involving a vehicular accident. Even if the circumstances seem dire, lying and obstructing justice is always worse than telling the truth about the incident.
Our associates at Ledger Law are well-versed in vehicular accidents and would love to talk with you. Feel free to contact us at (800)-300-0001.