The man charged with hitting and killing a neurologist had pleaded guilty to the offense, according to local authorities. The plea stems from an October incident in Fountain Hills where a 38-year-old neurologist was riding his bicycle in a bicycle lane of Shea Boulevard. A driver in a Chevrolet pickup truck approached the bicyclist from behind and struck him, then the truck driver fled the scene.
An eye witness saw the crash and saw the truck driver stop near 134th Street, exit his truck and examine it, as if he was looking for damage. The driver re-entered his car and continued on his way without ever checking on the cyclist or without calling authorities. Fortunately, the eye witness noted the truck’s make, model, and license plate number and called 911. Police officers were able to track the truck driver by the license plate and arrested the 33-year-old man who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash. The defendant was charged with felony leaving the scene of a fatal traffic crash and on Friday, he pleaded guilty. He is awaiting sentencing which is currently set for September 6.
Initially, after his arrest, the defendant told police officers that his truck was damaged in a parking lot where he worked. He later said that he thought he hit a barricade on the way home. The victim died at the scene of the accident from his injuries, and police later disclosed his identity as a well-respected neurologist at St. Joseph’s Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. He is survived by a wife and other family members.
Arizona law makes it a crime to leave the scene of an accident before speaking with police. Doing so it not only illegal but it can be deadly. If another person is injured in a crash to the point that they cannot call for help, a fleeing driver may leave that victim with no chance at medical attention until it is too late.
According to police reports, the victim was riding in a bicycle lane at the time of the crash. By all accounts, he was riding lawfully and without fault when he was hit by a negligent driver. Too often, drivers fail to recognize the rights of bicyclists to ride the streets and by ignoring these riders, the drivers cause accidents.
When a victim of a bicycle accident is injured or killed, the law allows the cyclist or his family to bring a claim for damages against a negligent driver. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are experienced Phoenix bicycle accident lawyers who help victims with these legal claims. We only represent victims and we focus our entire practice on fighting for victim’s rights. If you have been hurt in an accident, call us today for a free consultation. We are available now at (602) 819-5191 so please do not hesitate.
Prior Blog Entries:
Prescott Extreme DUI Driver Hits 4 Construction Vehicles, Injures 2, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 14, 2013.
Shopper Dies After Car Crashes Into Convenience Store in Tucson, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 12, 2013.
Man pleads guilty in crash that killed Ariz doctor, Associated Press/Fox 10 News, published July 12, 2013.
Neurologist riding bike killed in hit-and-run, Fox 10 News, published October 14, 2012.