A woman from Albert Lea was killed by a hit-and-run driver this week as she crossed East Main Street during the early evening. About 14 hours later, police said they questioned the driver and arrested him on a charge of criminal vehicular homicide. He was allegedly driving a blue Ford pickup truck that was caught on video running into Ms. Klein near Katherine Street around 6:30 p.m.
The video, which police have shared with the media, shows a man believed to be Jones getting out of his truck after the collision, walking around, seeing the body and then leaving in his vehicle. They found Jones about 8:30 the next morning at a local car dealership, with his pickup truck. The truck is in police custody for evidence.
Police have said the woman who died was doing everything right as a pedestrian when she was killed, with the exception of not crossing in a crosswalk. She was careful, looked both ways and was crossing East Main Street intently when she was struck by the pickup truck, a police supervisor has said.
Under Minnesota law, the driver of any motor vehicle must immediately stop if the driver is involved in an accident with a person resulting in bodily injury or death. Not only that, but the driver is required by law to render reasonable assistance to any individual who is injured at the scene. Regardless of the law, you’d like to think that most people would be morally compelled to help anyone who was injured. Criminal convictions under the hit-and-run law can pave the way to a finding of wrongful death or gross negligence in a hit-and-run lawsuit. Family members can receive compensation.
Violations of traffic laws are criminal offenses and can lead to a finding of negligence or gross negligence in a lawsuit seeking compensation for the victim or next of kin. In the case of a hit and run accident, this would mean that there may be grounds for punitive damages, which can be significant and are meant to punish very bad behavior.
Accident lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have recovered tens of millions for families they have represented in wrongful death traffic lawsuits. They provide free case consultations and meet with family members to answer any and all questions about their legal options. Clients owe the law firm nothing until compensation is won. In just one example of how they practice law, Fred and Eric recovered $4,050,000 on behalf of a family who lost loved ones when a negligently repaired vehicle caused its driver to lose control and collide with their minivan. They’ve represented next of kin in semi-crashes, motorcycle crashes, ATV accidents, bicycle deaths and cases of hit and run.