44-year-old Brian T. of Murrieta stands accused of an alleged hit and run, after fleeing the scene of a tailgating accident at Veil Lake Resort. 42-year-old Kimberly M. suffered serious head trauma, after falling to the ground.
"As Brian T. allegedly took a turn at about 10-15 mph, the rear end of the Silverado slid to the right and forced Kimberly M. to be thrown from the truck, the CHP investigator wrote. Kimberly M. ... suffered major blunt force trauma to her head, and was transported to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center in Wildomar. Brian T. allegedly ran from the scene ... But when he showed up at the hospital at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday, CHP was notified and he was arrested without incident. CHP's preliminary investigation revealed alcohol was possibly a factor in the incident..." - Maggie Avants, Murrieta Patch
Brian T. was released on bail June 2th for $25,000, and will face his court hearing July 19th.
In California, Vehicle Code section 20001 and 20002 define the crime of hit and run. In order to be found guilty of hit and run, the prosecutor must prove that:
- While driving, the defendant was involved in a vehicle accident;
- The accident caused (the death of/ [or] [permanent, serious] injury to) someone else;
- The defendant knew that (he/she) had been involved in an accident that injured another person [or knew from the nature of the accident that it was probable that another person had been injured];
- The defendant willfully failed to perform one or more of the following duties:
- (a) To stop immediately at the scene of the accident;
- (b) When requested, to show (his/her) driver's license, or any other available identification, to (the person struck/the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with) or any peace officer at the scene of the accident;
- (c) To provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident;
- (d) To give to (the person struck/the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with) or any peace officer at the scene of the accident all of the following information:
- The defendant's name and current residence address;
- The registration number of the vehicle (he/she) was driving
- The name and current residence address of the owner of the vehicle if the defendant is not the owner
- The names and current residence addresses of any occupants of the defendant's vehicle who were injured in the accident
- (e) The driver must, without unnecessary delay, notify either the police department of the city where the accident happened or the local headquarters of the California Highway Patrol if the accident happened in an unincorporated area.]
If found guilty, section 20002 requires punishment to be state or county imprisonment for no more than three years, a $1,000 - $10,000 fine, or both imprisonment and said fine. However, if death or serious injury occurs in said accident, punishment can be increased substantially.
Therefore, depending on the seriousness of Kimberly M's sustained injuries, Brian T. may or may not have a lessened punishment. Until next month, one can only speculate as to the outcome of Brian T's case. However, if handled by a well-informed defense attorney, he should have the best chance at a reasonable outcome.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, contact us so that we may discuss your case; our law office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California. We represent individuals charged with criminal offenses, DUI and juvenile matters in the Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Corona and Riverside areas.