When a life-changing event happens, some humans turn into animals. Heart pounding in their ears, all they can hear is their flight instinct telling them to preserve themselves. In an auto accident, the person or people who cause the accident can face serious punishments, from fines to jail-time. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I know that this makes hit-and-runs sinfully common. Rather than taking responsibility for the destruction and even death they may have caused, some people would rather run as fast as they can and hope what they have done won’t find them. On August 3rd, 2011, a hit-and-run accident of a unique nature occurred.
In Buckley, Washington, a 19-year-old driver failed to make a turn near Highway 410 and smashed into a power pole, twisting itself around it. The driver’s 17-year-old passenger, Traevon Norton, was killed, and when police responded to 9-1-1 calls from nearby drivers, they found the driver seat alarmingly empty. According to Buckley Police Chief James Arsanto, witnesses saw a young man flee the scene. Rather than calling 9-1-1 or going for help, the driver contacted somebody to pick him up and bring him to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.
The 19-year-old is being investigated for the possibility of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Arsanto has said that Norton and the driver were in the area to see friends. It is hard to imagine that those people will still want to be friends with the driver. This wasn’t a normal hit-and-run; this victim was somebody the driver knew, somebody who had been sitting right next to him. Poor Norton was left without a call for an ambulance or even a hand to hold in his dying hours and our thoughts go out to his family. As a Bellevue wrongful death lawyer I know how hard it can be for a family to lose a loved one, especially a young teenager.