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Kearney Case Catalyzes Public Outrage About Hit and Run Collisions

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Hit and run collisions seem to increase this time of year. It gets dark earlier and the rain makes it difficult to see pedestrians. It makes sense that the number of accidents increases. But weather and visibility don’t explain or justify drivers leaving the scene after hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or vehicle.

A recent case illustrates the point. KOMO News reported:

Jeff Kearney was hit while walking across a crosswalk on 16th Avenue Southwest in White Center. The vehicle hit Kearney so hard that its side mirror sheered off. But police say the driver slowed for just a moment before speeding off.

Two points.

First, I think that hit and run collisions increase this time of year because (a) people drink more around the holidays and (b) the same factors which increase collisions due to decreased visibility also provide an opportunity for drivers to leave the scene of a collision undetected.

Second, UM/UIM (Uninsured Motorist/Under Insured Motorist) insurance covers hit and run collisions. Even collisions with pedestrians. Buy as much UM/UIM coverage as you can afford. It’s not expensive and provides excellent coverage in case a drunk driver runs from the scene of a collision.

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  1. Joy Henley says:
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    On June 27, 2009 my son was hit by a hit and run driver. The driver who fled the scene was sober, driving with no insurance, and after he hit my son traveling 50 mph, he just kept right on going. He hit my son so hard that his front bumper fell off. (with his license plate so he was easy to locate after that) He also totaled my son’s car. He has continued to drive…appearing in court, getting probation and being court ordered to pay a monthly restitution to my son. He has not paid any restitution and has since, been charged with “reckless driving” and driving with no insurance in another jurisdiction. My son miraculously managed to climb out of the wreckage through the passenger side door. I will never forget the horror that night when I received the call, along with the sight of the wreckage. I also say a prayer now, everytime my son leaves in my car. Fear consumes me that was not there in the past. There was no alcohol involved, nor was there a visibility issue. Sometimes, people are just downright cruel and irresponsible. It is up to court officials to send a strong message that this will not be tolerated. They can do this by being tough, using the hit and run driver as an example that this will not be tolerated and imposing maximum sentences. I am thankful my son is alive. If he keeps it up, this particular hit and run driver may kill someone one day.