Good Samaritan Hit While Helping Others: Fatal Hit & Run Accident

The Washington State Patrol is asking for the public’s help in solving a fatal Hit and Run crash that happened the day before Thanksgiving, near Burlington, just north of Seattle.

Porfirio Reyes Solano stopped along I-5 and George Hopper Road to help another driver who had run out of gas. As his family waited inside their vehicle, Solano got out alongside the road to make his way to the other car. But the unspeakable happened and Solano was hit by a vehicle that then sped away.  His wife said she could hear the noise from the crash, even as the vehicle ran her husband over.

Washington State Patrol is Looking For Help

The WSP needs help in finding whoever hit Porfirio Reyes Solano. “They have hit a human being, they have hit a person, they have hit a good Samaritan, they have hit a father, they have hit somebody and that family needs closure,” said WSP Trooper Heather Axtman.  For the family, it’s a shock that one good deed cost them a husband, father, and friend. “And that’s how he died by trying to help someone out.”

In the days since the crash, troopers believe that new evidence based on the lighting material collected from the fleeing car is the right headlamp of a 2001-2006 Chevy Tahoe or Suburban. They are asking that citizens be on the lookout for either of these style of vehicles that may have recent body damage to the right side lights and panel.

Unfortunate Upward Trend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash data shows that there’s been an upward trend in hit-and-run crashes in recent years. Between 2009-2011, the most current statistics available, there was a 13.7% increase in hit-and-run deaths.

An analysis of the crash statistics by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that one in 5 pedestrian fatalities were a result of a hit-and-run crash, with 60% of those deaths were victims not inside of a vehicle. “The problem is bigger than I think most people are aware,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the foundation.

Many factors contribute to why these types of crashes occur. While one part of the study alluded to pedestrians needing to be more alert, other significant reasons were also mentioned. “Drivers are more likely to run if they feel there is a reason to do so. They’re more likely to have high blood-alcohol content, or they’re driving without a license, or they’re very young drivers.”

How Hit and Run Victims Should Respond

The possibility of being in a hit-and-run accident isn’t that unrealistic. Anyone could easily be the victim of a driver leaving the scene and it’s important that you know how to respond in a safe and appropriate manner.

1. Get a License Plate Number

The single most important thing you can do is get a license plate number and state of registration. Not only will this be the first thing asked for by a police officer, it is the primary source of identifying a potential driver.

2. Write Down as Many Details as Possible

You never know when a driver will flee the scene. Snap a picture of the accident, license plate, and note as many details as possible. Your eyewitness information will be critical in finding the vehicle that hit you.

3. Call the Police

As quickly as possible – only after you’ve recorded the appropriate details – call 911 and report a hit and run accident. If you’re able to give them the make, model, and color of the car, they may be able to alert patrol officers in the area.

4. Call the Insurance Company

Next, you’ll want to call the insurance company to report the accident. The more details you have about the accident, the better. Unfortunately, unscrupulous drivers will often hit objects and then report it as a hit and run for insurance companies to cover the repairs. As a result, your insurance company will seek out as much information as possible.

5. Never Chase or Confront the Driver

Never chase or confront the driver after leaving the scene. This could lead to additional accidents or the driver could be dangerous – you just never know. It’s important that you stay at the scene of the accident so law enforcement can gather details for the police report.

Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run crash, call Fielding Law Group today for a free consultation regarding your case. Being the victim or family member of a hit-and-run accident can be upsetting and devastating. It may even leave you feeling helpless. But our experienced legal professionals can work with you to get justice and compensation for your losses. Remember—Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!