Earlier today, a US postal worker was acquitted of leaving the scene of an accident. His truck struck and killed a bicyclist last summer. The postal worker, Ian Clement, claims to have felt something under his tire. He pulled over to wait for someone to approach his vehicle; when no one did he drove off.
NY Vehicle and Traffic Law section 600(2)(a) is the controlling statute in this instance. Key to the analysis is that the section stipulates that in order to be in violation of this statute, a driver must know or have cause to know that he or she has caused personal injury to another person. Of course, when the victim of a hit and run dies, the charges become more serious, raising to the level of a class D Felony. As Clement was acquitted, the jury presumably felt that he did not have cause to know that he had struck a person. The family of the victim, including husband Nathan Dershowitz (brother of OJ Simpson defense attorney Alan Dershowitz) were notably upset upon hearing the verdict, according to the New York Post. The jury found that reasonable doubt existed as to Clement’s knowledge of the circumstances at the time of the accident, and as such he left the courtroom today a free man.
The full story, as detailed by the NY Post, can be found here.