ABC 7 News reports a recent surge in hit-and-run accidents in Santa Ana, California. According to authorities, there have been nine fatal pedestrian accidents thus far in 2013 while there were only seven total incidents in all of 2012. Two fatal hit-and-runs took place within days of each other, one this past Tuesday morning and the other took place the Saturday prior.
The most recent fatal Santa Ana hit-and-run killed an 85-year-old man as he was walking across the street. The man's son explained to authorities that he suffered from mild dementia, which was not severe enough to place him in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. The man was walking across South Euclid Street when he was hit. There was no designated cross walk.
Authorities say that the driver hit the man and dragged him on the hood of the car for 30 yards before speeding off and leaving him at the scene. The driver has since been identified after his family encouraged him to turn himself in. Although the man was jaywalking, it is still against the law to flee the scene and fail to render aid after a traffic accident. The Santa Ana police Cpl. explained that had the driver remained at the scene, he would not be facing the felony charges that he is now.
The same day, a man was charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of felony hit-and-run with permanent injury/death for an accident that took place on Saturday, August 24th. The driver was speeding when he failed to yield at an intersection and hit another vehicle, killing the two occupants.
Although there was no malicious intent behind the accident, the driver is still being charged with multiple felony counts and could face up to 20 years in state prison. According to officials and eyewitness testimony, the driver got out of his vehicle, looked at the car he had just hit and then fled on foot. He was also driving without a valid license at the time of the accident.
The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs has more than 30 years of experience in the Orange County court system and has represented people accused of serious felony traffic offenses in the past. With traffic offenses, you not only face criminal penalties but also risk losing your driving privileges. There are serious ramifications for felony convictions in the state of California, so call today to secure a free evaluation of your case from a skilled Orange County criminal defense lawyer.