Fatal traffic accidents are always tragic, but it’s especially difficult for a victim’s family to cope with their loss when the person who caused the crash doesn’t accept responsibility, instead fleeing the scene.
A man accused of causing a fatal motorcycle accident in Guilford Township, Pennsylvania, has turned himself in to police, about a week after the crash. The victim, a 37-year-old Greencastle man, was riding on U.S. Highway 11 when a medium-sized box delivery truck drove into his path at an intersection. He was thrown off the bike and died at the scene.
According to an affidavit, a passenger in the box truck told them that the driver initially stopped, but then left without rendering aid. The witness said the truck driver kept going because his driver’s license was under suspension for a previous DUI. The commercial truck was found in Harrisburg late last week. Its owner told police that the driver had told him someone had run into the truck in nearby Carlisle, which is where the driver was supposed to be at the time of the fatal crash.
Police issued an arrest warrant for the man, but he remained at large until he turned himself in at the state police in Carlisle on Saturday. He’s been charged with homicide by vehicle, causing an accident involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, failing to administer aid and failing to report an accident, injury or death.
The family of the victim, a father of three, had called on the other driver to turn himself in. “We want the person responsible found, and we want him to know what he’s done and how he’s affected our whole family,” the man’s wife said.
Now that he’s in custody, the next step is his arraignment. If he’s found guilty of the charges against him, he’ll likely face a prison sentence. It will be up to the victim’s family to file a wrongful-death lawsuit to gain any compensation for their loss, but an admission of guilt would likely make a civil suit more successful.
Source: The RecordHerald.com, “Leon Deardorff Jr., hit-and-run suspect, turns himself in,” March 12, 2012