Cobb County Police Officers have confirmed that Corie Bethea, 44, was struck and killed by a driver on Friday. After fatally hitting Bethea at 11:20 p.m., the driver did not stop the vehicle and instead fled the scene. Bethea was pronounced dead after he was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
Cobb police spokeswoman Officer Sydney Melton described the vehicle as a dark ram Pickup truck that was heading north on Floyd Road toward White Boulevard. Bethea walked in front of the truck and the driver hit him.
As a Cobb County DUI Attorney, I have defended many cases involving hit and run. A person convicted of hit and run will face harsher penalties than a DUI in Cobb County. In today's post, I'm going to be discussing hit and run law.
What is a Hit and Run?
Georgia's hit and run statute, OCGA §40-6-270, provides the following:
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:
- Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving
- Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
- 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; and
- Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. 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.
What are the penalties associated?
A person charged with hit and run faces serious penalties if convicted. If the accident was the proximate cause of severe injury or death, then the driver who ran will be guilty of a felony. The punishment for a felony hit and run is a prison sentence of one to five years and at least a four-month driver's license suspension. In some limited cases, the driver may qualify for a restricted license. However, if the driver was also convicted of a DUI in addition to the hit and run, they will not be eligible for any license.
As a Cobb County DUI Lawyer, I know that the prospect of receiving a hit and run charge is frightening. But receiving a charge is not a guarantee of conviction. If you have been charged with hit and run, call our office today to speak to one of our qualified attorneys. We are available to help 24/7, 365.