A 22-year-old North Carolina man was struck and killed by an SUV on April 7 while walking on Potter Road in Wesley Chapel. Witnesses traveling immediately behind the SUV saw it hit what they believed to be a deer, and then continue on its way. The same witnesses also said the vehicle stopped down the road, and the driver got out of the SUV to examine the extent of damage from the Saturday night car accident.
The car accident victim was said to have been wearing bright colors and neon shoes as he walked along Potter Road. His body was found more than seven hours after the hit-and-run collision. The road where the accident occurred had no street lights, though police have not yet indicated if the victim was walking on the roadway or along its side.
On April 9, a relative of the SUV driver called authorities after seeing photos of the damaged SUV in the local newspaper. Police arranged to interview the driver. There was no official word indicating if the driver would be criminally charged.
Even though nothing can change the car accident that took the victim’s life, the family will likely want to know exactly what happened. They may also look to North Carolina civil law in an attempt to hold the driver fully accountable. A wrongful death claim would be appropriate if the evidence indicates the driver was negligent in a manner that caused or contributed to the death of the victim. While it is too early in the investigation to draw many conclusions about the accident itself, the family may wish to assess the facts and circumstances as they are developed in order to decide whether or not they wish to pursue such a claim.
Source: WSOC TV, “SUV involved in fatal hit-and-run found,” Greg Suskin, April 8, 2012