As of this posting, Queensbury Police and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office were still searching for clues on the vehicle that struck bicyclist Aron J. Steves shortly before 6 pm on December 18. Steves, 52, of Whitehall, was hit while biking on Corinth Road near Pinello Road. He suffered serious internal injuries requiring surgery, and although he is recovering, he has not been able to provide enough information on the crash to help law-enforcement officials track down the vehicle or its driver.
The sheriff’s office has been trying to locate the driver of a white, full-size pickup truck seen in the area around the time of the crash by a woman walking her dog. There is no evidence, however, that the pickup is the vehicle that struck Steves. Police have sought clues from surveillance videos of nearby businesses, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on the crash to call the office at (518) 743-2500.
As spelled out in Article 22, § 600 of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, “Leaving scene of an incident without reporting,” the operator of any vehicle involved in a crash that causes property damage or personal injury is required to stop and exchange vehicle registration and insurance information with the other party, as well as the operator’s name, address, and contact information. If the party suffering damages is either not present (as in a hit-and-run with a parked car) or injured and not in condition to exchange information, the vehicle operator must report the incident to law enforcement as soon as is physically possible.
New York state law aside, hit-and-run crashes are unfortunately all too common. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes have occurred on U.S. roads each year since 2006—which is more than one every minute. More troubling, hit-and-run deaths have been increasing by an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009, with the toll of 2,049 hit-and-run fatalities in 2016 the highest on record. Approximately 65 percent of those killed in hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians and bicyclists.
In the absence of an identified at-fault party, there are still coverage options for a person who is injured by a hit-and-run vehicle; an experienced attorney can walk you through these. Possible sources of recovery for a pedestrian or bicyclist who has their own auto insurance policy are the uninsured motorist (UM) and personal injury protection (PIP) coverages required for all drivers under New York state law. As a last resort, injured persons may apply for medical benefits with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC), a nonprofit mandated by New York state and funded by insurance companies doing business here.
If you or a family member has suffered an injury as a bicyclist or pedestrian, LaMarche Safranko Law can help. Contact us at (518) 982-0770 or online.