Finding comfort in justice after a fatal hit and run

On July 18, a Maple Valley man was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run crash. He had been near the end of a an early-morning 15-mile run when he was struck and killed. He was later found by a passing motorist.

King County Sheriff’s Office asked for public help identifying anyone involved in incident.

Suspect sought in Southeast King County Hit and Run

His wife and family have pleaded for anyone involved to come forward—and have even offered a reward for anyone who might have information about the death.

Street-Maple-Valley-fatal-hit-and-run

The King County Sheriff’s Department shared this image of the street where a Maple Valley man was killed in a hit and run crash on July 18, 2021.

Most hit-and-run crashes like this one are not “accidents”: they are predictable, preventable deaths caused by drivers who made very bad choices.

It seems unlikely that someone set out on a Sunday morning to use their vehicle as a weapon to kill a pedestrian. But it also seems unlikely that a sober, focused driver who made a simple mistake and caused a “car accident” would then speed away from the scene.

Looking back on a fatal hit and run case in Seattle

Several years ago, Coluccio Law represented the family of a Seattle woman who the victim of a similar fatal hit-and-run.

The victim had been walking home with her groceries in the early evening. She was in the middle of the crosswalk when she was hit by a driver who failed to yield.

After striking her and running her over, the driver got out of the vehicle, looked at the victim, got back into the SUV and drove away.

The driver— a young local bartender— pulled over less than a mile away, and called her boyfriend. He picked her up, and they returned to the scene of the fatal hit-and-run. Less than an hour had passed.

The driver had been drinking after her shift. She was charged with vehicular homicide and felony hit and run, and is currently serving an 8.5-year prison sentence.

See: What happens when your personal injury case is also a criminal case?

In that case, the driver faced criminal penalties while we handled the civil case for the woman’s Estate. There was some measure of justice for her family and friends.

Losing anyone you love in such a violent manner is incredibly painful. But layering on the lack of accountability for a driver who leaves the scene makes it even worse.

Sometimes, there is very little that any can do for people who are grieving. For the family of the victim of the fatal hit and run in Maple Valley, justice might bring some measure of comfort.

Any persons with information about this hit and run can reach the King County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 206-296-3311

Anonymous tips may be shared with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound via P3Tips.com  

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