My heart goes out to a local teenager and his family following a tragic hit & run collision that occurred on Hoffman Street in Elmira in front of EFA High School. I have three teenagers of my own who attended EFA and I just hope and pray that this poor teenager will be OK.
While my heart bleeds for the victim, I have nothing but contempt for the driver who hit this poor kid and left the scene. Several years ago, I represented a family whose 14 year old son was run down and left to die on Maple Avenue and I can still feel the anguish of that family who would always wonder if their son might have been saved had the cowardly hit and run driver stopped and rendered aid to their son……
This latest tragedy involves a teenager who was skateboarding and I was asked by our Elmira TV station, WETM-TV, to discuss the laws that might be applicable to this skateboard and car collision.
As many of my readers know, every Wednesday I do a LawTalk segment on WETM-TV news where I discuss current legal issues and laws. I love doing these shows for two reasons: first, it is an opportunity for me to help folks better understand the many laws that effect their daily lives; and second, it is an opportunity for me to improve my own legal knowledge as very often I need to do research to better understand the weekly topic we will be discussing. It is a win/win for everyone.
This week we discussed the laws pertaining to skateboard use in New York State. As I told our viewers, under NY law, skateboarders, like bicyclists, have a legal right to use the roads. Bicycles, in-line skaters, and skateboarders may all use the roads subject to the rules of the road that pertain to cars and motorcycles– bicyclists and skaters must obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings that apply to other drivers with obvious exceptions and special rules.
I also told our viewers that my best legal advice to the hit & run driver is to promptly talking to a criminal defense lawyer (not me as I only represent injury victims like the skateboarder, NOT the people who inflict those injuries!) and then turn themselves in to the police. It’s the legal thing to do and it’s the moral thing to do.
My best to the skateboarder and his family. My best to you and your families.
Thanks for reading.
James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Here is the WETM-TV Story that prompted our discussion:
Elmira, N.Y. – Elmira Police are saying the teen victim is 18 years of age not 19 as originally reported. Elmira Police are still searching for the driver involved. The incident happened around 8pm Tuesday night in front of Elmira Free Academy. Police stated that they are looking for the driver of a golden or tan colored sport style sedan. Officials stated that the vehicle may have damage to the front end.
The 18-year-old victim was taken to Arnot Ogden Medical Center. Police are not releasing his name at this time. One witness tells WETM 18 News that he could not believe what he saw Tuesday night. “I just happened to be looking out the window and I said wow what was that? I thought the car had run over the grate or something but it was so loud. Then I saw something in the street and I thought it was a hat rolling or something and I saw the kid laying there,” stated witness James Banks.
Elmira Police need your help in finding the driver involved. If you have information, you are asked to call them at 271-HALT or the Elmira Police Traffic Bureau at 737-2940.