Back in February of 2013, nearly everyone in the Los Angeles area heard about Damian Kevitt’s devastating hit-and-run accident. While riding bikes with his wife on Zoo Drive near Griffith Park, Kevitt was hit by someone driving a light gray minivan – who failed to stop and render aid. While heading toward Interstate 5 to make a quick getaway, the driver dragged Kevitt 600 feet.
During his recovery from broken ribs and numerous internal injuries, Kevitt was forced to undergo “10 surgeries and dozens of skin grafts.” Sadly, these types of tragic events keep happening on a regular basis all over California. Back in 2009, LA Weekly reported that “48% of [L.A.’s] crashes were hit-and-run, compared with 11% nationally.”
NPB Teenager Seriously Injured Recently by a Hit-and-Run Driver
Just last month, a 14-year-old girl riding her bike with friends incurred critical injuries when a callous driver of a Mercedes Benz hit her on East Bay Avenue in Newport Beach before quickly driving away. Although her friends were not harmed, this unnamed young girl’s injuries were so severe she had to be “transported to a local trauma center in critical condition.” One witness said she’ll never forget the devastated look on the face of the injured young girl’s father when he arrived at the accident scene.
These types of unconscionable hit-and-run accidents are far too common and stricter laws must be passed right away. Some residents are quite worried since Governor Brown keeps finding fault with the hit-and-run laws introduced during recent years.
Governor Brown Vetoed Two Bills Introduced in 2014 – Another Now Awaits His Signature
California Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced at least three bills seeking greater penalties for hit-and-run drunk drivers during the past two years. Unfortunately, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed both “AB 1532 and AB 47.” Seeking an update on Assembly Member Gatto’s bills, a contributing writer for LedgerLaw.com reached out to his office for comment. She learned that Assemblyman Gatto became more proactive about this type of legislation after being “deeply moved by the Damian Kevitt accident back in 2013.”
Current Status of Assemblyman Gatto’s Newest Bill: AB 8
At present, Assemblyman Gatto’s office remains hopeful about his current bill AB 8 — it also addresses California’s epidemic of hit-and-run accidents. It’s now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature.
Surely Governor Brown will now take the lead and sign this important bill into law. Among other provisions, AB 8 “would authorize a law enforcement agency to issue a Yellow Alert if a person has been killed or has suffered serious bodily injury due to a hit-and-run incident and the law enforcement agency has specified information concerning the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle.” All Californians should immediately contact Governor Brown’s office to urge him to sign this critically needed legislation during the next few weeks.