WILKES-BARRE – Changes in Pa’s hit-and-run penalties might discourage drivers from fleeing the scene after a crash. Some politicians and prosecutors are mulling the plan to prevent the rising incidence of motorists who ran after an accident. Authorities believed that current penalties are mild that intoxicated drivers consider running an easy way out. It appears that Pa laws maybe the reason why drivers ran from the crash scene if they are intoxicated.
Present laws rules that drivers caught DUI will face a minimum imprisonment of three years; while those who flee from the scene and are captured later when the alcohol is out of their system are charged a minimum of one-year sentence for leaving the scene.
Sam Sanguedolce, concurrent First Assistant District Attorney of Luzerne County concurred with the proposal of the Voice of Wilkes-Barre Citizens that there is great need to change the law. He said that the officials are recommending a much tougher hit-and-run conviction for DUI than the one used at present.
It could be recalled that last year, Indiana State representative, Dave Reed proposed raising the minimum penalty for three years. However, his proposal was not approved as some state senators believed that it would result to overflowing prisons.
As a compromise, it was agreed that the approved charge known as the personal injury or death-involving accident increased the rank of the penalty to a 2nd-degree felony from the 3rd degree that it was. It provided a 10-years imprisonment from the former seven years term but the mandatory one-year penalty was unchanged.
District Attorney, Sanguedolce said that the changes will not be affecting offenders with very minimal or no criminal records as guideline for sentencing takes into consideration past history of the offenders.
Philly’s D senator, Mike Stack has long since been proposing an increase in the mandatory minimum penalty for drivers who flee the scene from one year to five years.
One of the senator’s staff told the press last week that Stack will again be presenting his proposal that the minimum amount of penalty be one-year imprisonment for a hit-and-run violation that causes serious injury and at least a minimum three-years term for drivers who ran from the scene of a fatal accident.
The sister of a hit-and-run victim, Diane Velikis, age 53, resident of Pringle, said that there is no reason why drivers hit someone, then run and leave the victim to die. Maybe they do not know what they have done or don’t want to go to prison.
On the 1st of January, officials identified the first victim for hit-and-run for the year.
According to witnesses, the victim was crossing the intersection of Presidential Boulevard and City Avenue when he was hit about 40 feet down the roadway by a car going eastward to Schuylkill Expressway. The witness who was a medical student tried to use CPR to revive the victim who died on the scene. .
That Tuesday after marked the first hit-and-run victim of the year was identified as Patrick Coyle, a 50-year-old maintenance man who resides a few blocks away from the scene of the accident.
The police observed that although the area does not have a crosswalk but there was a pedestrian bridge that Coyle should have been using.
The only description learned of the vehicle was that it was a four-door sedan and color was either gold or silver. After the crash, it head off towards Route 1.The police has also small parts of the car which were left from the crash. These are all the leads that they will work on to find the driver.
Coyle worked as maintenance man at the Presidential City apartments where he resides with his partner, Joy Zasowski and their 13 year old son. According to Zasowski, Coyle was a great guy. He came from large Philadelphian family.
The next early hours brought at least two other crashes as a car hitting a tress and a crash along the Northwest section of Philadelphia.
Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.
Please consult with an experienced Philadelphia Injury Lawyer now for free consultation.
Source: Philly Com (http://articles.philly.com/2013-01-15/news/36334170_1_fatal-accident-hit-and-run-convictions-hit-and-run-accident)
Source: NBC Philadelphia Com (http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/breaking/City-Avenue-Hit-and-Run-Deadly-185355632.html)