By: Basch & Keegan
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Driver in Fatal Hit and Run Turns Himself In
Pursuant to an interstate search, authorities have recently charged a man with a hit-and-run accident which left one pedestrian dead. Concetta Eastman, a 36-year-old mother of two from Copake, was struck by a Dodge pickup truck while getting into her car parked on Bog Hollow Road after a product-selling party in a home in the Amenia hamlet of Wassaic. The driver did not stop, and Ms. Eastman passed away shortly thereafter at a local hospital. Authorities began to search for the truck believed to have been involved in the accident and, due to the proximity of Amenia to Connecticut, Dutchess County officials requested the assistance of the Connecticut State Police to find the vehicle in question. Once the truck was located, officers found the owner, Randy Miles of Kent, who was brought in for an interview. Miles turned himself in the following day and was sent to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. He was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal auto accident, which is a felony carrying a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. The investigation into the accident is continuing, and at this time it is unknown if he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Under New York State law, if a driver is involved in an accident that results in property damage or injury to another person, he or she is obligated to stop, show identification and proof of insurance, and give his or her name and address to the injured person or person whose property was damaged. If the person who sustained the damage isn’t present—if, say, the driver hit a parked car or mailbox—then the driver must report the incident and damage to the authorities, and if the other person has been injured or killed by the crash, then the responsible driver is also obligated to contact emergency personnel. Nationwide, 20% of all pedestrian deaths in auto accidents were hit-and-run, and 25% of all car accidents in New York State are hit-and-run.
Receiving compensation for injuries and damages occurring as a result of a hit-and-run accident involves additional complications compared to accidents where all parties involved stop and exchange information. Uninsured New York state residents injured in an accident must make a claim under the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation, an entity designed to protect drivers from uninsured or unidentifiable drivers and provide compensation where the defendant driver will not. The injured party has only 24 hours to report the accident and must make reasonable efforts to locate the unknown driver before making a claim. If the injured individual is an insured driver, then under New York’s no-fault auto insurance statute, that driver would make a claim with his or her own insurance policy.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident in or around Kingston, Ulster, Middletown, or Poughkeepsie, make sure that you’re made completely whole by securing knowledgeable legal counsel. Contact the attorneys at Basch & Keegan, LLP, for a free consultation regarding your case by calling (845) 338-8884.