Another tragic hit & run case is in the local news. WETM-TV reports that Elmira City Police have captured Joseph Upham who was allegedly the driver in an accident in Millport, NY that caused the death of 22 year old Kaylah Morse of Painted Post, NY.
Upham, stand-up guy that he must be, fled the scene after crashing in to a Millport house. He left Kaylah, his passenger, behind without showing her one bit of care or compassion. This is just the latest in a rash of hit & run accidents in the Elmira / Horseheads area. What is it with these hit and run drivers?
Want to make a bet? How much are you willing to bet that Upham had been out drinking before he decided to drive? How much do you want to bet that he fled the scene to avoid DWI charges? How much you want to bet that he ran away with the hopes of avoiding Vehicular Murder/Manslaughter charges?
My educated guess based upon many years of handling similar NY wrongful death cases, is that a thorough investigation will reveal that Upham was either drunk or high. Time will tell but it is a bet that I am pretty confident about making.
Drunk or not, high or not, my hope is that Upham will be prosecuted to the FULL extent of the law in both criminal and civil court. Anyone can have an accident but the fact that someone would have an accident and then flee from the scene rather than take care of their injured passenger or assist the Millport family whose house was crashed in to is simply inexcusable and unforgivable.
My heart goes out to the family of Kaylah Morse and all innocent victims of such tragic circumstances.