As Barry County, Missouri car accident attorneys, we have experience assisting the victims of hit and run accidents. The law defines hit and run as "failure to stop after a vehicle accident to exchange information (name, license number, and other pertinent information) with other involved parties." When an accident involves an injury, the law also stipulates that motorists "address the needs of victims as is necessary," whether that requires dialing 911 or simply waiting for emergency responders to arrive on the scene. If a driver fails to comply with any of these requirements, he or she is guilty of a serious crime.
The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating a recent pedestrian hit and run accident in Barry County, and the family of the man killed in that accident has issued a public plea for information. At around 7:30 p.m. on December 14, 44 year-old Tommy G. Rickman was hit by a car as he walked along Business Highway 37, near Cassville. The Highway Patrol speculates that Rickman was walking in the roadway when the accident occurred. The car left the scene, and Rickman was transported to St. John's in Cassville. Doctors attempted to save him, but he died within the hour as a result of his injuries.
Rickman's family recently contacted a local news station to issue a formal request for the driver to come forward. In an email to KY3 News, Rickman's nephew wrote that the accident "broke everyone's heart." We send our condolences to the family, and join them and the Highway Patrol in their appeal to the suspect and to the public.
In their investigation, troopers are focusing on a black or dark colored crew cab pickup truck (either Ford or Chevrolet) that was seen traveling north on Business 37 around the time of the accident. If you have information about this vehicle, its owner, or the accident, please contact the Highway Patrol at (417) 895-6868.
The Highway Patrol reported that Rickman was Troop D's 110th fatality for 2011. To see the crash report, click here.
Here are a few facts about these kinds of accidents, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- In 2009, 4092 Americans were killed in car-pedestrian accidents. That's about eleven people every day.
- That same year, Missouri had a nationwide ranking of 25th for pedestrian accidents, with 68 pedestrian fatalities and a State Pedestrian Fatality Rate of 1.14. (The number one slot went to Florida, with 466 pedestrian fatalities and a State Pedestrian Fatality Rate of 2.51.)
- Approximately 11% of all accidents are hit and run. Under the law, hit and run accidents automatically become felony crimes when they cause a fatality, regardless of who is at fault
If you witness a hit and run accident, always report what you've seen to police: you would want someone to do the same for you. And if you or a loved one is injured in a hit and run accident, call the Cassville auto accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates to schedule your free consultation.