View Full Version : Police Let Hit and Run Driver Off the Hook

Nick Darling
04-15-2011, 09:40 AM
I was hit by a motorist near DuPont Circle who fled the scene. I got the plate number and description of the vehicle and then called the police. There was a witness who also gave her statement to the police. I went to the emergency room at GW for serious abrasions and sprains. My bike was damaged. I have a $2,000 bill from GW Medical Center.

The police detective in charge of hit-and-run accidents (Second District) finally got around to interviewing the registered owner (a woman in Maryland) of the vehicle, who said she did not remember the accident. I sprawled across the hood of her car and she then waited about five seconds before speeding off!!!! Of course she'd say she didn't remember. Do you think she's going to admit leaving the scene of an accident?!?!

Guess what? The police decided not to charge this motorist with anything. Their reason? There was no damage to her car (a sturdy Volvo, by the way) that would confirm the accident. How often is there damage to the car in an accident? No, the damage is usually to the poor cyclist who is struck down. I guess I should have gone through her windshield or at least left blood on her car instead of on the pavement where I was left lying.

What more could I have possibly done to bring this criminal to justice? The police won't even give me her address (it wasn't in the police report although I have her name, which is a common name) so I can sue her in civil court.

Any thoughts or ideas on how to 1) pressure the police to file charges; and/or 2) how to track down the registered owner since I only have her name and plate number.

Thanks. And be careful out there.

Nick Darling
04-15-2011, 09:45 AM
The police just want your case to go away. They don't want any more paperwork, court appearances or distractions if they can brush you off. They're too busy out there writing parking tickets. My suggestion: write a letter to the police detective's supervisor with a copy to the Mayor's Office. I think the police can reconsider whether to pursue a case and may do so if you apply some pressure on them.

Also, can you post the name and plate number of the vehicle? Maybe someone will know the driver so you can go after her in civil court. It would be easier to prove your case, however, if the police had
prosecuted her and actually convicted her of something. Without this conviction, she can also "not remember" in civil court. Then it's your word against her, although you have a corroborating witness. Also, the burden in civil court is less than criminal court, so you would probably prevail.