A man was fatally injured and a woman was transported to a hospital in critical condition after a hit-and-run crash in Buena Park.
According to a report in The Orange County Register, Buena Park officers responded to the area of Western Avenue and Auto Center Drive north of the 5 Freeway on the evening of Aug. 14. They found a car and truck that had been involved in a collision.
Investigators said the truck was traveling west on Auto Center Drive and ran a red light striking the driver’s side of the car, which was going south on Western on a green light. The truck’s driver abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot before police arrived. Inside the car, the man was in the driver’s seat and the woman, in the passenger seat. Updates on the woman’s condition were not known.
Video from the intersection showed the front end of the car against a short wall on the southwest corner of the intersection while the truck was facing the wrong way in the westbound lanes of Auto Center Drive. The investigation is still ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased victim. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the injured passenger and we wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Under California law, it is illegal to leave the scene of a car accident that has resulted in an injury or fatality. 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.”
In such cases, when the driver is not identified or located, victims and their families are left with the financial burden of medical expenses or funeral costs as well as the emotional burden of not being able to know who put their loved ones in this position and not being to hold them accountable.
Injured victims or families of deceased victims do have the right to compensation in hit-and-run cases. If the at-fault driver is apprehended, he or she can be held financially liable for the injuries, damages, and losses caused. If the driver is not apprehended or if the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured, victims or families may be able to seek compensation from the uninsured motorist clause of their auto insurance policy. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer will be able to advise victims and families regarding their legal rights and options.