On Tuesday, February 21, a woman was crossing the street at the intersection of Foothill and Glenoaks Blvds. in Sylmar when she was killed during a hit-and-run by an unknown driver. The victim was not identified, though it was released that she appeared to be in her 40s. According to law enforcement, after being hit, the woman was either dragged by the vehicle or launched about 100 feet away from the crosswalk where she was crossing. No skid marks were found on the road, the presence of which would indicate that the driver attempted to stop or swerve to avoid hitting the woman.
Witnesses described the car as a dark colored (possibly black) Saturn. Police said that they expect the vehicle to have front-end damage, and possibly windshield damage.
California Vehicle Code 20001 VC describes a hit-and-run as leaving the scene of an accident without first identifying yourself to the other people involved. If nobody is hurt and only property is damaged during the collision, then 20001 VC will usually be charged as a misdemeanor. However, if a person is injured or killed, it’s possible that the charge will be a felony. It should be noted that these circumstances will not always result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Much will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
There are several possible penalty schemes for defendants who are convicted of violating 20001 VC, and which will be used will depend greatly on the specifics of the particular accident and whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, if someone is convicted of committing a hit-and-run and the collision involves a non-permanent, non-serious injury, the defendant will face:
- A fine between $1,000 and $10,000
- Up to 1 year in county jail (if charged as a misdemeanor)
- Up to 3 years in California state prison (if charged as a felony)
- 2 points added to the defendant’s driving record
If the collision results in death, or permanent, serious injury, the defendant faces:
- A fine of $1,000 to $10,000
- At least 90 days and no more than 1 year in county jail (if charged as a misdemeanor)
- 2 to 4 years in California state prison (if charged as a felony)
- 2 points on the defendant’s DMV record