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Fatal hit and run driver finally comes forward

A woman who believes she may have been the cause of the fatal hit and run car accident discussed in our June 26 blog entry has come forward. The fatal car accident occurred on June 22 along US-23 in Pittsfield Township. According to police reports, she was driving a new Honda Odyssey minivan south down US-23 just past Michigan Avenue when she veered into the lane of a Ford Expedition. The SUV driver turned hard on the wheel to avoid being hit, which cased the Ford to roll several times. Two children, ages 14 and 11, in the vehicle were killed and five other occupants in the vehicle were injured.

The Michigan State Police say the woman has turned her Honda over to authorities. According to Michigan Vehicle Codes, if a driver believes they have been involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident and doesn't stop and remain at the scene, they can be cited with a felony and face five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. If the driver is actually at fault for the accident, the sentence goes up to 15 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

Police reiterated that it was not the obligation of every single Honda Odyssey owner to call authorities and have their car cleared. That burden of proof remains on the shoulders of the government. But, several eye witness to what authorities called one of the most violent, magnanimous fatal hit-and-run crashes they had ever seen, reported that the Honda driver swerved into the lane of the Expedition, causing the Ford driver to over correct, roll the SUV, and land in the median.

It is quite possible that the woman didn't realize the aftermath that splayed out behind her as she continued down the highway after the near miss. If her new Honda wasn't scratched and the Expedition driver merely turned the wheel too hard to avoid being hit, certainly the Ford manufacturers and designers may have something to answer for. It will also be worth investigating whether or not the Expedition in this case was equipped with the roll stability control option.

Source: Royal Oak Patch, "Community Expresses Relief After Woman Steps Forward in Crash that Killed 2 Royal Oak Youth," Judy Davids, July 11, 2012

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