A Queens driver struck a cyclist early Wednesday morning in Woodside. The collision flipped the cyclist onto the roof of the driver's car. Rather than stopping, however, the driver continued driving with the cyclist reportedly yelling and banging on the roof of the vehicle. The victim clung to the roof for a couple of blocks before being thrown off when the driver made a turn onto a different street. The car sped off while the victim lay seriously injured on the street. According to the Daily News the cyclist is in serious condition at Elmhurst Hospital. Police found an abandoned vehicle matching the description of the hit and run car shortly after the incident, but were still investigating as to whether it was the actual car involved.
Based on the circumstances of the accident, the driver, if and when he is caught, will have a difficult time claiming that he was unaware that he struck the cyclist. As part of the case that must be made in hit and run accidents, the prosecution must show that the driver of the car knew or had cause to know that he had hit someone or something. If the witness statements provided by the Daily News are accurate, there is little chance that the driver was unaware that he had hit the cyclist. Of course any charges levied against the driver, when found, will not be as serious as they would have been had the cyclist died from his injuries. Still, if he is apprehended, he will most certainly face criminal charges with resulting jail time as a possible penalty.
The story, including observations from eyewitnesses, can be found in the New York Daily News: