The attempts by two different drivers to flee the scenes of their respective car accidents led to both drivers crashing into two different homes less than 90 minutes apart.
First, at approximately 2:45 a.m., a man who was involved in a car accident on a freeway fled the scene and slammed into a home on a corner block. No injuries were reported, but the driver of the vehicle was arrested for operating his vehicle while under the influence. Then, less than an hour and a half later at 4:14 a.m., a driver on another freeway was also involved in a collision, fled the scene and crashed into a home. It was unclear if any injuries were sustained in the second collision. This set of bizarrely similar collisions occurred on the morning of February 6th, 2013, in different areas of the city.
Being a Responsible Hit-and-Run Victim
It should be noted that the victim of the hit-and-run on the freeway in the first collision actually followed the driver of the offending vehicle while calling police. While this might be a natural instinct if the victim of a collision sees the other car start to drive away, it is always better to suppress the urge to follow in pursuit. Instead, the victim in this case should try to get the offender’s license plate and a short description of the vehicle. Police dispatchers will want to know the description of the vehicle and the license plate number. In addition to a description of the vehicle, the victim/witness should inform police dispatch of the vehicle’s last known direction of travel. This way, while one police officer is dispatched to the victim to take his or her report, other free police officers can scour the area for the offender’s vehicle. When civilians attempt to follow an offending vehicle, they expose themselves to criminal and/or civil liability if their pursuit causes property damage, physical injuries, or death. Aside from the liability, hit-and-run victims who engage in pursuit also expose themselves to physical danger, as the driver of the other vehicle may be deranged, dangerous, or armed.
Leave Pursuits to the Police
Police have the skills and equipment necessary to track down hit-and-run drivers safely and with as little risk to the public as possible. Victims of hit-and-run accidents, instead of chasing the perpetrator, should attempt to gather an accurate description of the offending vehicle and relay that information to police as soon as possible.
If the victim can move his or her car over to the side of the road safely, then it should be done and the victim should wait in the car until police arrive. If the car can’t be moved, the victim should just wait in the car until help comes. While waiting, the victim should leave hazard lights flashing and seat belts locked. Since other drivers may not be paying attention, it is best not to wander on the road or to remove seat belts, as these can lead to further damage/injuries following a hit-and run.