Police are still trying to find the driver of a pickup truck who ran over an eighteen-year-old dentistry student after she and the pickup driver had a minor collision in Levittown. The student was struck after both cars had moved to a safe area and was left for dead when the truck drove off.
Middle of Rush Hour, Several Witnesses
The initial low-speed crash around 5 p.m. on November 9 was caught on surveillance video from a gas station at the intersection of the Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue. From the tape, it appears that the pickup carelessly rolled into slow-moving rush-hour traffic and was hit by the victim’s car.
At that point, both vehicles moved into an adjacent parking lot off camera. Several witnesses at the gas station say the victim got out of her car to exchange insurance information with the pickup driver. She also called her mother on her cell phone and was speaking to her when the next part of this tragedy unfolded.
The pickup driver then drove over the victim. Witnesses say the pickup dragged her twenty-five to thirty feet as it fled. Emergency medical treatment arrived within a few minutes, but the victim died at the scene.
There has been strong reaction in the community and a plea by the victim’s family for the driver to turn himself or herself in, but that driver, described only as a middle-aged white male wearing a baseball cap, has so far not been located.
Hit-and-Runs an Enormous Problem
The problem of hit-and-run accidents in New York state is huge. In 2015, New York City alone saw more than 38,000 hit-and-run crashes (most of which involved only property damage). But in 2016, there were thirty-eight fatal hit-and-runs within city limits (just over a third were eventually closed with an arrest).
The current maximum penalty for leaving the scene of a fatal crash is up to seven years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. A proposed law currently moving through the state legislature would increase the penalty to as much as fifteen years in prison.
NYC Car Accident Lawyer
Our hearts go out to the family of the victim in this case, and we hope the guilty party will be brought to justice soon.
As experienced car accident attorneys, the team at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has helped people who were injured in many kinds of crashes, including hit-and-run incidents. If you need help recovering damages after an accident, contact us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the form below to schedule a free consultation.