A 28-year-old man is facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident after a July 11 incident in Maricopa County, authorities stated. The accident reportedly occurred near Mesa at approximately 4:45 p.m. and claimed the life of a bicyclist.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, officials located and detained the 28-year-old man after a witness noted the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run accident on Apache Trail. Reportedly, the driver of that vehicle had veered into the right lane of the roadway before striking the bicyclist.
The MCSO commenced an investigation into the bicycle accident. Deputies had not determined immediately following the event whether alcohol or drugs contributed to the collision.
If further investigation in this case were to conclude that impaired driving did in fact cause the fatal accident, then the at-fault driver may be held accountable for the incident not just criminally but in civil court as well. For, certain family members of people who die in drunk-driving accidents may pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver.
In this way, bereaved family members may seek restitution for the economic losses they suffered in connection with the fatal incident. For example, claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit might seek to recover the expenses associated with the decedent's funeral service, burial and estate administration. Moreover, they may seek restitution for lost earnings if the decedent had contributed income to dependents while alive.
Because such damages may equate to substantial sums of money, wrongful death cases are often highly contentious. For this reason, deceased victims' families often retain the counsel and representation of a wrongful death attorney when filing a claim.
Source: KPHO, "MCSO: arrest made in fatal hit-and-run", Rebecca Thomas, July 11, 2014