On the evening of Thursday, March 22, 2013, a 71-year-old woman was left dead in a Washington, D.C. crosswalk after being hit by a hit-and-run driver. The woman, Ruby Whitfield of Northeast D.C., was crossing Florida Avenue NE in the 1100 block when a silver Mercury SUV, later determined to be a 2010 Mountaineer, struck her and fled the scene.
The vehicle, driven by Annapolis, MD resident Joel Russell Bromwell, 31, was found in the 600 block of Elliot Street NE after police were on the hunt for a silver SUV with front end damage. Receiving the call about a pedestrian who had been hit at 8:21 p.m., police quickly arrested Bromwell. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
While not all states consider fatal hit-and-run accidents a felony—three states do not, including Kentucky, Utah, and Montana—in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, the law mandates that the driver of any vehicle that is involved in an accident in which a person suffers bodily harm or death return immediately to the scene of the crash.
In Maryland, for instance, if a driver were to flee the scene of an accident that seriously injured someone, he or she could face imprisonment of up to five years or a fee of up to $5,000. For fleeing the scene of an accident in which the victim is killed, the driver can face up to ten years of imprisonment or an increased fine of up to $10,000.
The Maryland pedestrian accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins extend their deepest sympathies to the family of Ms. Whitfield during this difficult time.