Fliers are being distributed in search of the driver who struck a 3-year-old girl and her mother as they were crossing a street last Wednesday in Orange County, California. The girl, who was being pushed in a stroller, died and the mother was sent to a hospital.
Just after the car accident, the driver got out of the car, which had been stolen, and ran away. The fliers, posted by the California Highway Patrol, are offering a reward in exchange for information on the driver. It's likely he or she ran away because the car was stolen, but finding the driver is really the only way police will be able to learn the reasons behind the car theft, the accident and the driver's decision to flee the scene.
The surrounding community has rallied around the family with donations to help pay for medical, funeral and burial costs. The proceeds from an already-planned carwash organized by a high school baseball team will go directly to the victims. At least until the driver is found, it's the only means by which the family will be compensated for those costs. If the driver is ultimately caught and proven to be at fault in the crash, he or she could be hit with a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
Victims of car accidents where the driver shirks responsibility by leaving the scene of the crash are left with few options if they can't afford to pay for their own medical expenses, which can be costly even if they have insurance. If the victim dies, his or her family is left not only with unimaginable grief, but the high cost of funeral and burial expenses. If the driver in this case is finally located, he or she will face criminal charges and a possible conviction. But the mother and her loved ones will still have to fight for compensation of their loss and expenses.
Source: The Orange County Register, "Reward offered for driver in death of 3-year-old," Alejandra Molina, Feb. 13, 2012