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Driver accused of fleeing scene of fatal crash

A 36-year-old female motorist is facing serious criminal charges for allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident in which her car struck and killed a 64-year-old male bicycle rider in southeastern Delaware County in Ohio. The accident occurred on Miller Road, approximately a mile from the woman's home.

The bike rider worked as both a science teacher and athletic coach at the local St. Francis DeSales school. His sister indicated that he was on the cusp of retirement, compounding the tragedy by depriving a man of his well-earned rest after a lifetime's work. As in many Ohio car accidents in which a driver leaves the scene of a crash, sometimes leaving severely injured or dying victims behind, the driver in this case told others nothing about having hit a person. She reportedly at first told her family that the damage to her vehicle was from hitting a deer. According to reports, the woman plans to plead guilty to charges failing to stop and involuntary manslaughter.

The same driver hit another bike rider in 2011, according to news reports: A 66-year-old man seated on a three-wheel bike. That time she allegedly did not stop at first, either. In that accident, the bike rider survived but was hospitalized, and the driver indicated to investigators that she took medication that had directions cautioning patients not to drive if the drugs affect them in certain ways.

Such reckless conduct needs to be both punished and deterred. Lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death can both send a powerful message to irresponsible motorists and provide some small measure of compensation for victims and their families.

The Columbus Dispatch, "Woman charged in hit-skip crash that killed DeSales teacher" Laura Arenschield, Nov. 15, 2013

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