Over Labor Day weekend, a groom was walking with a groomsman and his best man on West Ashley Avenue on Folly Beach when a hit-and-run driver struck down the groomsman and best man. The groomsman died from the injuries while the best man remains in fair condition in the hospital.
According to the groom, his groomsman was so excited that he brought his suit ahead of the September 27 wedding, just to make sure it was the right shade of navy. The couple is planning a special tribute to their friend during the wedding. The hit-and-run driver, Andrew Lanzaro, has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and reckless vehicular homicide.
Don’t Make a Traffic Accident Worse by Fleeing
Most drivers know that fleeing the scene of an accident is a bad idea, but some are unaware that it is also a crime under South Carolina law. A driver may temporarily leave to alert authorities but not to flee altogether. After an accident, the driver must stop and park as safely as possible near the scene, but away from oncoming traffic. The driver should exchange auto insurance details, contact information (name, address and a phone number), driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and other pertinent information with the other person while they wait for law enforcement or medical personnel to arrive. If a person is injured at the scene of the accident, the driver should be aware that the situation is more complicated and it would be wise to consult with an experienced traffic attorney.
If a person dies from an injury that resulted from a car accident that occurred within the last three years, and the at-fault driver was found to have been in reckless disregard of the safety of others, then the driver can be charged with reckless vehicular homicide. Reckless vehicular homicide is a felony under Section 56-5-1910 of South Carolina law. If the at-fault driver is convicted or enters a guilty plea, the at-fault driver may be fined between $1,000 and $5,000, imprisoned for no more than 10 years, or both. The DMV also revokes the driver’s license of the convicted individual for five years.
If You Are the Victim of a Hit-and-Run
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run driver, it would be wise to consult with an experienced Greenville car wreck attorney to learn about your rights and available options for justice and restitution. The South Carolina State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA) allows people who have been emotionally or physically injured in a crime such as a hit-and-run to receive particular benefits under SOVA. However, only victims, their immediate family members or their legal representative—such as their attorney—can file for a claim with SOVA; an agency, hospital or medical facility cannot file on behalf of the person, even if that person is in their care or custody. In addition any benefits available under SOVA, the victim of the hit-and-run driver would be entitled to restitution directly from the at-fault driver and all applicable insurance policies.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.