The number of drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident in Texas is higher than many people believe. In September, a driver sped off from a wreck scene after leaving a pedestrian dead in Austin.
A report in the American-Statesman noted Richard Stacy Stader, a 37-year-old pedestrian, was killed in a hit and run crash last September near Wells Branch.
A preliminary police investigation noted the pedestrian was crossing north in the 1500 block of Wells Branch Parkway against a traffic signal at about 9:40 p.m.
Police said he was struck by a blue 2010 blue Honda Accord traveling west on Wells Branch close to the Interstate 35 southbound service road. According to police reports, the Honda drove off. Stader was pronounced dead at the scene.
Initial reports said police recovered the vehicle but were still seeking the driver. Stader’s death was the 35th traffic fatality of the year in Austin by the end of September.
Leaving the scene of an accident can be treated very seriously in Texas, in particular when a death or a serious injury ensues.
The offense of hit and run is also known as leaving the scene of an accident. It’s a very serious offense if a vehicle crash involves injury, death or even property damage.
The offense is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the degree of damage or injury.
Under Texas Transportation Code § 550.021, failing to remain at an accident scene when a death or a serious injury has been caused is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you drive away from an accident scene with an injury, you can spend five years in prison and receive a fine of up to $5,000.
If you leave the scene of an accident with property damage, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if the property damage is worth more than $200. You can serve up to 180 days in jail and be fined up to $2,000.
Even leaving the scene of an accident with only property damage can land you in serious trouble with the law.
You can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if property damage exceeds $200. You can serve up to 180 days in jail and be fined up to $2,000.
An accident involving damage less than $200 can result in you being charged with a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
If you are charged with leaving the scene, please contact our experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation at (512) 474-4445.