Charlotte Police have announced they have found the van they believe was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a 6-year-old boy in the 1300 block of Eastway Drive Sunday afternoon. According to reports, the van was discovered abandoned in the 9800 block of Idlewild Road by Mint Hill, however, no arrests have been made yet.
The young victim was crossing the street with his mother and sister when he was struck by the van. Witnesses say the driver of the van got out, looked around, and then jumped back into the vehicle and sped off. He has been described as looking “dizzy.”
Emergency responders rushed the victim to Carolinas Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead at 1:02 p.m., approximately 30 minutes after he was struck by the van.
Witnesses were also able to give police a description of the van, which was determined to be a white Ford E-150 cargo van, with some damage to the right front corner, as well as possibly having South Carolina license plates. The driver was described as being a Hispanic man, in his thirties, and with curly dark hair.
Police are requesting that anyone who has information about the fatal accident contact Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.
It is against the law in North Carolina to leave the scene of the accident. It is possible that the driver of the van may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that is why he sped off instead of waiting for police to arrive. Another possibility is that he did not have vehicle insurance.
Whether or not that is the case, and regardless of what police charge the driver when they finally find him or he turns himself in, the family of the young victim is entitled to seek punitive damages against the driver. Under North Carolina law, a driver who displays “willful, wanton or malicious” behavior can be sued. Driving under the influence and/or fleeing the scene of an accident could be considered grounds for establishing one or more of those behaviors.
If you have lost a family member in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the driver of the vehicle which struck your loved one.