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Fault at issue in fatal hit-and-run where second car hit victim

When a person dies in a fatal traffic accident, the investigation usually centers around the vehicles at the scene when the accident occurred. In an accident involving a bicycle, most scenarios would involve serious injuries to the bicyclist caused by the driver of the vehicle that hit the bicycle. But some scenarios are more complicated.

In a recent accident in California, a delivery truck was involved in a hit-and-run accident with a bicycle. The question is whether the delivery truck caused the death of the 19-year-old because a second vehicle also hit the victim after the driver of the delivery truck allegedly drove away.

An eyewitness to the accident said that he saw the bicycle and the cyclist's body in the road. He also said that the truck was still at the scene and had its emergency lights flashing. As the witness was calling 911, he lost sight of the driver of that vehicle. While the witness was still on the 911 call, he heard the screeching of tires and saw another vehicle hit the victim and that driver get out of his car to see what happened.

The driver of the first vehicle worked for a heating and air conditioning company and the owner of the company contacted him when the owner learned of the accident. The driver was still making deliveries at the time, but the owner of the company told him to return to the accident scene. The accident investigation found numerous damages on the truck consistent with the accident including damage to the front end and a missing fog light which had been found at the scene.

The driver of the delivery truck was charged with felony hit-and-run resulting in a death and vehicular manslaughter. His defense is that the second driver caused the death. It has also been suggested that he didn't know that he had collided with the bicycle, which obviously contradicts the testimony of the eyewitness.

While criminal charges are certainly justified given the alleged facts of the accident, the family of the victim may also have grounds for a lawsuit against any of the parties involved. A criminal conviction may provide some sense of vindication to the victim's loved ones, but compensation for pain and suffering is also often justified inĀ car accidents. With complicated facts like this, the advice of an attorney will be helpful in sorting out the liability issues.

Source: MyNewsLA, "Who's responsible for the death? Bicyclist struck by two vehicles," Hillary Jackson, Aug. 3, 2015

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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