The sudden death of a loved one is always tragic and heartbreaking, especially when it is at the hands of a drunk or hit and run driver, the added pain that the death was a needless one that should have been avoided. Our Clayton law firm has handled many cases of wrongful death caused by reckless or drunk drivers. We aggressively pursue these cases, regardless of insurance coverage or monetary gain, we understand that a civil verdict is a different type of justice and closure for the family that a criminal conviction or guilty plea sometimes does not have by itself. (See Maryland Heights Missouri Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Lawsuit)
One such tragic and needless death recently occurred in St Louis. Prosecutors in St. Louis have charged a man with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of a 4-year-old boy and seriously injured his brother. The man, Ricky R. Weeden, 54, was charged with one count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. He was jailed in St. Louis County in lieu of a $50,000 cash bail. A spokesman from the Missouri Highway Patrol said law enforcement is continuing to investigate the crash. The case is expected to be presented to a St. Louis County grand jury for additional charges in the coming days. The man responsible for the hit-and-run also has a history of DWI convictions and was arrested in 2003 and again in 2010. Police have said that a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado that was involved in the fatal accident was found near Weeden's home in St. Louis.
The boys involved in the collision were 10 and four and were hit as they tried to cross St. Charles Rock Road near Salerno Drive. The accident occurred at 7:30 in the evening as the two boys were headed to a nearby candy store. The Chevy Silverado was headed west when it hit the boys and then took off immediately following the accident. The younger boy died at the scene of the accident while the 10-year-old was taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital and initially placed in critical care with a severely broken leg. Thankfully, his condition was upgraded to good earlier this week and all signs point to a recovery.
Felicia Williams, the boys' mother, said she could not believe that someone could do something like that and just keep going, leaving her children in the road. After crashing into an innocent person, the decision to bolt from the scene is not only heartless, it's also against the law. Now, the driver responsible for the crash is likely to be convicted of criminal charges in addition to the civil penalties he could face.
In Missouri, hit and run accidents are governed by Missouri Revised Statutes § 577.060. The law states:
A person commits the crime of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident when being the operator or driver of a vehicle on the highway or on any publicly or privately owned parking lot or parking facility generally open for use by the public and knowing that an injury has been caused to a person or damage has been caused to property, due to his culpability or to accident, he leaves the place of the injury, damage or accident without stopping and giving his name, residence, including city and street number, motor vehicle number and driver's license number, if any, to the injured party or to a police officer, or if no police officer is in the vicinity, then to the nearest police station or judicial officer.
The victims and their loved ones should consider speaking with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to weigh their legal options. Just because the at-fault driver is facing criminal charges does not preclude the victim or his loved ones from seeking restitution through a civil claim. For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, call one of our Jefferson County car accident attorneys today at 314-863-0500.
Source: "St. Louis man charged in hit-and-run crash that killed boy in Pagedale," by Denise Hollinshed, published at STLToday.com.
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