On Monday May 19, 8-year-old Kamari Smith was struck by a silver Dodge Charger as she was waiting with a group of kids to get ice cream from a truck on Robson Street. The vehicle fled the scene; police have been searching for the driver since the hit-and-run accident, and believe it may be the vehicle that was recently investigated by arson detectives after an auto fire was reported.
As of last news reports, Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody would not confirm or deny whether it was the burned out vehicle that had struck the little girl. As of Wednesday, the owner of the vehicle had been identified, but had not been interviewed. Kamari was reported to be in critical condition at the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital.
Neighbors in the area said that it wasn’t the first time they had seen the silver or gray colored Charger in the neighborhood. A friend of the girl’s said that when she came outside, she saw Kamari on the ground. Ronald Cummings, who lives on the block, said that he came outside after hearing a loud thump, and saw Kamari laying in the street while the Charger sped away.
Family members were pleading for the person driving the Charger to turn him- or herself in, saying that they knew the person did not hit the little girl intentionally. The ice cream truck is said to have had its stop sign displayed, however the Charger allegedly sped around the truck, striking Kamari as she came around the front of the truck.
In Michigan, hit-and-run accidents that result in serious bodily injury will leave the person who fled the scene of the accident facing serious criminal penalties if convicted. Leaving the scene of an accident is typically a misdemeanor charge, however in this case it would be charged as a felony because of the serious injuries the victim apparently suffered. Criminal penalties for hit and run accidents resulting in severe bodily injury or death include fines of up to $10,000 if the individual who fled the scene was responsible for the accident. He or she may also face a prison term of up to 15 years.
It is not unusual for individuals to flee the scene of an accident, as most people are extremely frightened and nervous and may leave the scene before even trying to think their actions through. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, take action immediately to protect your legal rights and pursue the best possible outcome by consulting a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney.