Mundy Mill High School junior Maurice Freeman was walking to school this past Tuesday, October 11 when a vehicle struck him from behind. Freeman, a 17 year old high schooler who plans on enrolling in the Air Force, was walking on Highway 54 in Jonesboro, close to the Clayton County courthouse.
The vehicle struck Freeman and then took off. It did not stop to check on Freeman to see if he was ok. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigators are looking for a burgundy van or SUV which Clayton police believe is responsible for crashing into Freeman.
Family friend Sasha McCrear said that as Freeman lay in the road after being hit, other motorists simply ignored him and drove around him. It wasn’t until Principal Marcus Fuller of Callaway Elementary School saw Freeman that Freeman received help. Acting as a Good Samaritan, Principal Fuller parked his car next to Freeman and protected Freeman from oncoming traffic until the paramedics arrived.
Freeman sustained a broken pelvis and tailbone, and came to the hospital with blood around his brain. Several days after this crash, Freeman is starting to show some signs of improvement. He can communicate and the swelling is coming down.
Hit and run accidents like the one Maurice Freeman suffered from are very serious. Georgia law clearly stipulates that it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident before driver information is exchanged, injuries are attended to, and/or police or emergency professionals arrive on the scene. Drivers who fail to do so are committing a “hit and run”- which, depending on the circumstances, can be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Hit and Run Laws in Georgia are governed by O.C.G.A Section 40-6-270:
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his operator´s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with; and
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person.
The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
(subsections c-d ommitted for purposes of this article)
If you have been injured in an automobile collision or have been injured in a hit and run accident, you may be entitled to compensation. There are several types of damages that are recoverable from car accidents including, but not limited to, the reimbursement for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. You may want to contact our Georgia attorneys for more information and to help you protect your interests and legal rights.