Police say the 49-year-old woman that struck an Ohio teenager with her car and fled the scene was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis when the incident occurred. The woman recently turned herself in after authorities filed several felony counts against her. She faces charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident and aggravated vehicular homicide.
While it is unclear whether the victim's family plans to take legal action, they could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit against the suspect in order to claim monetary damages compensating them for the pain and grief they experienced following the death of their loved one, as well as funeral costs and other expenses incurred by the fatal accident.
According to the 15-year-old victim's mother, she did not know her son had been struck by a car until he failed to show up to his high school on the following day. She explained that she thought he was spending the night at a friend's house on the night of the hit-and-run crash.
Police say they received a 911 call from home of the suspect's daughter, who told dispatchers that her mother was threatening to commit suicide upon her return home from the accident. A prosecutor assigned to the case explained that the suspect told her family that she had been involved in an accident, but claimed that she had only struck a mailbox. Police located the victim's body two days after the accident after it was seen lying in a ditch alongside a rural road. The prosecutor noted that while officials knew about the accident and the victim's disappearance, they were unable to connect the two issues until identifying the body.
Ohio residents whose loved ones were killed in a car accident may be entitled to wrongful death damages. Such individuals are encouraged to contact an attorney specializing in civil litigation to learn more.
Source: Columbus Dispatch, "Woman charged in hit-skip death of teen," Holly Zachariah, Dec. 12, 2012