The investigation of a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week started out slowly as emergency responders tried to identify both the victim and the driver. The young woman who died in the accident has since been named, and the driver is said to be cooperating with authorities. But it will take some more time to determine exactly what happened and who should be held responsible.
The accident happened last Wednesday morning as a 16-year-old girl was crossing a street in Harrisburg. She was struck by a large cement truck, which left the scene without stopping. The girl suffered massive head trauma and died at the scene.
Making things problematic was the fact that the girl had no identification on her. Investigators said she had a tattoo on each wrist, and media outlets displayed them in news stories about the crash in hopes someone would come forward to identify the victim. By the next day police had learned her name, as well as the fact that she had been going through a difficult situation with her family and had been staying with friends instead.
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck came forward and has been cooperating with police. They are still investigating whether the driver knew he had struck someone, which could be difficult to accurately determine. If it's proven that the accident was a deliberate hit-and-run, the driver could face charges and he and the company he works for could be held liable for any expenses associated with the girl's death. If the girl's family decides to file a civil lawsuit against the driver, he and possibly the company he works for could be forced to pay damages.
Unfortunately, many accidents unfold this way. The more unanswered questions there are, the harder it is for victims or their families to deal with the financial and emotional fallout.
Families of fatal accident victims tend to be so emotionally consumed by their loss that taking care of the resulting financial burden can be overwhelming. Fortunately, they don't have to go it alone. An attorney with experience in fatal accidents can help sort out the details and make the case for fair compensation, even when the logistics of the accident are highly uncertain.
Source: PennLive.com, "Teen killed walking in Harrisburg was hit by a cement truck, police say," Monica Van Dobeneck, Nov. 1, 2012
· Our firm handles complex vehicle accidents like the one described in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Harrisburg car accident page.