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Man pleads guilty in hit-and-run

A man who accidentally ran over a North Carolina cyclist pleaded guilty in the cyclist's death. The fatal car accident occurred six months ago.

According to prosecutors, the 36-year-old male was riding a bike on Hillandale Road by Interstate 85 at night on July 8. A man from Warren County came up behind him and hit him with his vehicle. Witnesses report that they saw the vehicle swerve before hitting the man and then driving off on the same road. The victim was transported to a local hospital, but he died there.

The 28-year-old driver of the vehicle turned himself in to police on July 9. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of hit-and-run and driving with a revoked license. Although the victim's family acknowledged that he did not intentionally hit their loved one, they urged the superior court judge to sentence the man to the strictest sentence allowed under law. They said that the man knowingly got behind the wheel with a revoked license and chose to drive that way. They also said that the loss had a tremendous impact on their lives. The judge gave the man a sentence of 12 to 24 months in prison with credit for time served.

When a victim dies in an accident that is caused by another person's negligence, the victim's family may decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Through such a claim, the family might be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses and the emotional loss of losing a loved one. This compensation is in addition to any punishments that the wrongdoer receives as part of a criminal conviction or plea agreement that he or she makes with prosecutors.

Source: WRAL.com, "Man pleads guilty in Durham bicyclist's hit-and-run death", January 08, 2014

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