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Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested in Connection with Irvine Car Accident


Officials have arrested a 41-year-old woman recently in connection with an Orange County car accident that left 4-year-old Ava O’Connor severely injured. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the major injury collision occurred June 20, 2011 on the 405 Freeway, near Laguna Canyon Road, in Irvine. Annete Argo, 40, was driving her son Gaven Argo, 9, and Ava from Pretend City, a play area in Irvine, when the collision occurred. California Highway Patrol officials say Argo’s vehicle went off the roadway after it was struck by a Yukon Denali.

Tragic Hit-and-Run Collision

On August 1, 2011, officials arrested Sarwat Syed, believed to be the driver of the Denali who fled the scene. Ava’s family had offered a $10,000 reward for information about the hit-and-run driver. Ava, who suffered critical injuries in the crash, had to undergo a nine-hour surgery to fix her jaw, upper palate, eye sockets and nose. She is home and has a feeding tube, a tracheostomy and 10 plates in her head. But her father, Robert O’Connor told news outlets that his daughter has been “resilient” and is recovering from her injuries. Syed was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Officials tracked her down through a partial license plate number and an insurance claim Syed filed a day after the crash occurred.

My heart goes out to this little girl and her family. I can only imagine what they must have gone through in the days and weeks following this heartbreaking accident. I’m relieved to hear that officials have apprehended the driver who left the scene. I pray for this young victim and her family. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Hit-and-Run Statistics

According to the California Highway Patrol’s traffic accident statistics, there were 17,158 hit-and-run car accidents that resulted in fatalities or injuries in California in 2008. A majority of these car accidents involved injuries. There were a total of 247 deaths in 2008 involving hit-and-run collisions statewide.

Holding Wrongdoers Accountable

Leaving the scene of an injury crash is inhumane and irresponsible in addition to being illegal. In this case, there were children in the car that was hit. It is hard to fathom how someone could have the heart to flee the scene leaving injured victims on the roadway. In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse for that. Leaving the scene of a car accident is simply unacceptable.

Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for all medical expenses, cost of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, cost of medical devices and medication, pain and suffering, and even long term care expenses. Victims of hit-and-run car accidents are often left holding costly medical bills. They should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. It would be in their best interests to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the investigation, remain on their side and fight for their legal rights.

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