Qingrong Chai, 69, was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Rosemead just before she was about to celebrate her 70th birthday. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal crash occurred the evening of December 29, 2013 at the intersection of Greendale and Marshall avenues. A vehicle struck Chai, knocking her off her feet into opposing lanes of traffic.
The vehicle that hit her did not stop, but an oncoming vehicle did. The driver got out and contacted police. Officials say there were no traffic lights at the intersection and it is not clear if Chai was in a crosswalk. The driver turned herself in the following day. She has been identified as Janet Bowman, 32. Officials say she was driving the 2007 Nissan Murano that fatally struck Chai.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of Qingrong Chai, who have suffered a terrible loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
California Hit-and-Run Collisions
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 131 people were killed and 18,801 were injured due to hit-and-run collisions in California. Of those, 67 fatalities and 2,097 involved pedestrians.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash
It is against the law to leave the scene of a fatal or injury collision – regardless of who was at fault. “I panicked” or “I was scared” are simply not good enough excuses for leaving an injured victim on the street, often, to die. California Vehicle Code 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.”
Fault and Liability
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved families of deceased victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled hit-and-run cases. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will also be able to advise victims and families about how their own car insurance policy might apply to a hit-and-run case or to a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.