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The 3 Things You Should Do if You Are Involved in a Hit-and-Run Crash

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • Being involved in a car accident with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object and then leaving the scene without stopping to render aid to anyone who might need assistance is a hit and run situation.
  • Victims may find themselves in a panic but it’s important to stay calm and gather information to file an accident report, so police can locate the driver responsible for the crash.
  • Hit and run victims may be entitled to significant damages that can provide financial stability during a time of great physical and emotional challenge.
  • Indiana State Police are still looking for a driver who left after possibly hitting and killing two men on Interstate 80/94 near Grant Street on February 24.

Two People Killed in I-80/94 Hit-and-Run After Rollover Crash

Indiana State Police are busy searching for a driver who may have hit and killed two men who were involved in a separate rollover crash on Interstate 80/94 in late February. Initial crash reports say a 2002 Ford Explorer with three people in it was driving east on I-80/94 when it sideswiped a semi-trailer. After that crash, the driver and front seat passenger of the Ford were trying to help a backseat passenger out of the overturned SUV and were suddenly hit by other cars and killed from blunt force trauma in the secondary crashes, according to a release by Indiana State Police. The Lake County Coroner’s pronounced both men dead at the scene. Our thoughts go out to the men killed in this accident, as well as to their family members and friends who have been left without answers.

Timeline of Crash Shows Dangerous Turn of Events

When reviewing the accident report for this hit and run and reading the preliminary investigative notes by Indiana State Troopers, Will Carlson and James Brasseur, it appears a string of terrible driving accidents happened during a short time frame, proving just how quick a crash can turn deadly.

  • It’s believed the driver of the Ford Explorer hit a semi and then he over-corrected, lost control and flipped the SUV onto its roof.
  • Two men in the Ford Explorer then got out of the SUV and were trying to help the backseat passenger when the Explorer was hit by a black, four-door Volkswagen, possibly a Passat.
  • After the Volkswagen hit the Explorer, it went off on the inner shoulder and hit another vehicle, that of a driver who had stopped at the crash to see whether the people in the Explorer needed help.
  • The driver of the Volkswagen got out of the car and then immediately got back in and drove off heading east.
  • One of the victims may have been struck by a fifth vehicle that swerved to the right to avoid hitting a car that had braked near the crash. But it wasn’t immediately clear which vehicle hit the second victim.
  • The passenger in the back seat of the SUV was taken to Methodist Hospital Northlake for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Indiana State Police are asking anyone who may have information about the Volkswagen’s driver or the vehicle itself to contact Detective Gary Runde at (219) 696-6242. Information may be left anonymously. The vehicle involved would have heavy, noticeable front-end damage.

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run

While you’ll likely have feelings of panic, anger and stress if you’re a victim of a hit and run, it’s better to stay focused on gathering as much information as you can so you can then call the police and file an accident report with the all you have gathered. If able, pull your vehicle out of the line of traffic, away from the road. You are already at risk for a secondary crash, don’t make it worse by hanging out in the middle of the freeway.

Now, start to work through gathering the information outlined below. More information will increase the chances that the police will catch the driver who hit you, but also help your car insurance company make decisions about your claim.

  1. First, get as much information as you can about the car and driver that hit you, such as:
  • Model
  • Color
  • Make
  • License plate number
  • Any noticeable or unique bumper stickers, tires, or dents
  • Any type of description about the driver you can give will help
  1. Next, look around for any possible witnesses to the accident and collect:
  • Names
  • Contact information
  • Brief statement of what they saw
  1. Finally, take the following steps before leaving the scene:
  • Write down the time and location of the accident.
  • Take pictures or video of the accident scene.
  • Take pictures or video of your car, especially if another car’s paint is visible on it.

In addition, if the hit and run occurred when you were away from your parked car, jot down as much information as you can, such as:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Damage
  • Take photos or video

Indiana Drivers Responsible for Crashes Must Stop

If you fail to stop at the scene of an accident you were involved in, there are several hit and run penalties in Indiana. Once you are found and arrested, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines reaching $5,000. If the accident resulted in serious injury or death of a person and you fail to stop, the charge is escalated to a Class D felony, punishable by prison and hefty fines. In addition to these penalties, most insurance companies will cancel your auto insurance policy if found guilty of a hit and run.

Without stopping to assist, a driver cannot determine if another person needs help or medical assistance. Fleeing the scene of a crash may prevent the victim from receiving the emergency help they require in a timely manner and can result in an unnecessary death. And let’s face it, leaving the scene of a hit and run accident, especially when there is an injury or death involved is a terrible, cowardly act. Beyond that, it is actually illegal to leave the scene of an accident.

Wagner Reese Attorneys Are Indianapolis Car Accident Veterans

At Wagner Reese, we work with victims and the families of victims to hold drivers accountable for hit and run accidents. Our experienced car accident attorneys have helped recover millions of dollars for clients injured in vehicle crashes, as well as for the families of those who have lost their lives as the result of the wrongdoing of another driver. Whether you yourself were seriously injured in a car crash or a loved one was involved in a fatal accident, we can help.

Give us a call today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information.

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