Rod Richardson whose 48-year-old wife Brenda Jean Richardson was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver the night of Feb. 5 in Corona, tracked down the driver, leading to the person’s arrest. According to an NBC news report, Brenda Richardson was struck and killed near the corner of Kalus Avenue and River Road. The driver fled the scene. Police were looking for a white sedan in connection with this incident.
Tip Leads to Arrest
Less than two days later, police arrested 85-year-old Toshiro Isa who lives close to where the fatal crash occurred on suspicion of felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter. The tip that led to Isa’s arrest came from the Rod Richardson, the motorcyclist’s husband, who found the suspect’s damaged white Lexus just a short walk away.
Police say they were comfortable with Richardson’s step to report the damaged car because he was not putting himself in danger or confronting the driver. Officials said Richardson called the police as soon as he found the car. Richardson told NBC that he was at the scene of the crash when he followed a hunch to look inside a gated community nearby. Richardson said his “heart sank” when he saw the damaged vehicle. The couple has eight children.
We offer our deepest condolences to the Richardson family for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
We commend Rod Richardson for taking the initiative to locate the hit-and-run driver. We agree with the police that no one should put his or her life in danger in pursuit of a hit-and-run suspect, but call the police right away if they locate the vehicle or have a tip.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver fatally struck the motorcyclist and then fled the scene without rendering aid or stopping to cooperate with the authorities as required by the law. California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) states motorists should stop immediately after an injury or fatal collision and remain at the scene until authorities arrive. They must also render whatever aid they can to the injured victims.
In such cases, the at-fault driver, in addition to facing criminal penalties, can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.