An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run accident on state route 321 that resulted in the death of a 53-year-old woman from Lincolnton on a recent Wednesday night. North Carolina Highway Patrol officers arrested a 33-year-old man on felony charges. The suspect was subsequently released from police custody on a $25,000 bond.
A viewer watching news coverage of the fatal car accident called with a tip that lead to the man’s arrest. Two days after the wreck, a 12-year-old boy who lives in the vicinity of the crash located an antenna near the accident scene. He was the one who initially called 911 to summon police to the scene. After discovering the antenna that troopers missed during their initial sweep of the scene, the boy again called law enforcement. Broken shards of a vehicle headlight were also nearby.
Relatives of the deceased woman may take comfort that her killer will face trial on the felony hit-and-run charges. Of course, no court proceeding can bring their loved one back, but their grief may be ameliorated by his conviction and sentencing to a long prison term. Whether he is convicted or not, the woman’s survivors may elect to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in the civil court system. The burden of proof is less in the civil courts than in the criminal courts, and defendants can be held civilly liable for their irresponsible actions even in lieu of a criminal conviction and jail sentence. A North Carolina attorney can advise loved ones and heirs of their legal options should they decide to take further action.
Source: Gaston Gazette, “Arrest made in fatal hit and run” No author given, May. 27, 2014