Cookeville Man Arrested after Striking Pedestrian with His Vehicle
A Putnam County man was arrested after striking a man who was part of a crowd gathered outside a church in Cookeville, Tennessee, early Saturday.
A staff report by the Herald-Citizen says that the 72-year-old man was attempting to navigate his vehicle, a maroon Cadillac, through a large crowd of people outside an East Spring Street church. When the crowd didn’t disperse to allow room for his vehicle, the man got into an argument with people standing outside his vehicle.
At that point, witnesses say the man became angered and accelerated into the crowd, striking a 28-year-old man. The victim suffered serious injuries and was transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center for treatment.
After striking the man, the driver continued to accelerate through the crowd, prompting people to jump out of the way and even pull children out of the vehicle’s path.
A person in the crowd was able to take down the vehicle’s license plate, which led police directly to the man’s home where he was later apprehended and placed under arrest by Cookeville police officers.
The driver of the Cadillac is currently being charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and leaving the scene of an accident.
What Happens to People Who Are Convicted of Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime. No matter what type of accident drivers are involved in, whether it’s a serious collision or a minor fender bender, they should always stop, exchange information with the other driver, and file an accident report with the local police station. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident can face multiple severe consequences, including:
- Civil lawsuit and compensatory damages
When someone is injured in a hit-and-run accident, the victim is entitled to file a lawsuit against the driver who hurt them in order to recover compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Damages also may be awarded for things like pain and suffering, mental anguish or psychological problems, and disfigurement caused by the accident. In many cases, judges in civil lawsuits after hit-and-run accidents will impose additional damages on the driver due to their reckless and negligent behavior.
- Fines and suspension of license
If a hit-and-run accident is considered a misdemeanor due to no one being injured in the accident, the driver can still face punishment, such as heavy fines up to $5,000 and the suspension of their license and driving privileges for one year or more. In some cases, misdemeanor hit-and-run accidents can even result in jail sentences of up to one year.
- Felony charges
If someone was seriously injured in the accident and the driver fled the scene, they can be charged with felony hit-and-run. People who are charged with felony hit-and-run can be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 and may receive extended prison sentences that can range from one year to 15 years.
- Loss of insurance policy
Many auto insurance providers will immediately drop people who are found guilty of hit-and-run accidents due to the high risk they pose. People who are convicted of hit-and-run accidents may also experience difficulty finding car insurance after the accident and may have to pay substantially higher rates to get coverage.
The Cookeville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know how devastating hit-and-run accidents can be—that’s why the punishments are often so severe for drivers who are found guilty of leaving accident scenes.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident the driver fled the scene, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Whether we’re investigating the crash to help identify the driver or collecting evidence to prove the accident caused your injury, you can count on us to help you get the damages you’re entitled to receive.