Authorities in South Los Angeles are seeking the public’s help to find a hit-and-run driver responsible for a fatal Los Angles pedestrian accident the morning of June 1, 2009. Los Angeles police officials say the suspect is responsible for hitting and killing 46-year-old Sheila Tudmon as she was walking on a city street. According to an article in the Los Angeles Daily News, Tudmon was in the street near Arlington Avenue and 37th Street when a sport utility vehicle that was northbound on Arlington Avenue struck Tudmon. Los Angeles Police Department officials are asking anyone who knows anything or witnessed this pedestrian accident to call LAPD South Traffic Division detectives at 323-290-6094.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Sheila Tudmon for their tragic loss. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved this woman. Please keep them in your prayers.
I trust authorities will soon apprehend the Los Angles hit-and-run driver in this case and bring him or her to justice. It is not only irresponsible, unethical and inhumane to leave someone lying personally injured on the street, but also against California law. The law states that every driver who is involved in a car accident in California is required to stop. He or she must then exchange identification and car insurance information and if in a position to do so, must get help for the injured person or persons.
California Vehicle Code section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
The law requires that you stop if you are involved in a California pedestrian accident, whether or not you are the party at fault. Based on my experience as a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen cases where drivers flee the scene of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident because they simply panicked. I’ve seen them do it because they were already in trouble and didn’t want to get in more trouble (such as a prior DUI, DUI conviction or probation violation issue). Whatever the reason, it does not justify leaving an injured person at the accident site.
Sheila Tudmon’s family would be well-advised to contact experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys who are not only well-versed in car accident cases, but also have extensive knowledge of how uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage works in a car-pedestrian accident. Tudmon’s family should be able to receive compensation through the uninsured/underinsured motorist clause of her car insurance or any other insurance she has benefits under. However, it is a complicated process and requires the expertise and skill of knowledgeable car accident attorneys.