Hit and Run America, Vol. CCCXIII (2 of 2)

05/09/2012
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An ongoing collection of unsolved hit-and-run cases, with a focus on car/pedestrian incidents, from across the country since Jan. ‘010. If you know something about any of these incidents, or one that I’ve missed, do the right thing and call the police, even anonymously.

And I quote (X)…

A 34-year-old Eugene man was sentenced today to 14½ years in prison in connection with a series of January auto thefts, car crashes and high-speed chases that ended when a police dog bit him on a buttock as he tried to flee into the Willamette River.

The sentence was part of a deal in which Jeremy Carlson pleaded guilty to hit and run, felony fleeing a police officer and multiple counts of auto theft, reckless driving and reckless endangerment of others.

And I quote (XI)…

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of former Pojoaque Pueblo Lt. Gov. Linda Diaz for leaving the scene of a fatal accident in 2009.

The three-judge panel of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Diaz’s conviction in the death of 31-year-old Philip Espinoza of Chimayó.

A jury in 2010 found Diaz guilty after hearing evidence that she struck Espinoza with her car — but didn’t stop — as he walked along U.S. 84/285 on the pueblo during the early hours of April 4, 2009.

Diaz, who had been drinking prior to the collision, didn’t contact police until 28 hours later, long after a man walking his dog found Espinoza’s body in a clump of weeds beside the highway.

Diaz appealed her conviction, arguing that the U.S. attorney didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Espinoza was a non-Indian and, therefore, the case was not subject to federal jurisdiction.

CORASANTI And I quote (XII)…

[Dr. James G.] Corasanti’s hit-and-run and manslaughter trial continued for an eighth day Tuesday in Erie County Court, as employees from wireless carriers testified about phone and text usage by the physician and those with whom he communicated that night.

The doctor’s texting is a part of the prosecution’s case against him.

Prosecutor James F. Bargnesi has accused Corasanti of driving drunk, speeding, being too far in the bike lane, and making “the choice to be texting back and forth on his phone while behind the wheel that night.”

“The phone records will show, without question, repeated texting in the moments before killing Alexandria with his car — not once, not sending one quick message from a red light,” Bargnesi said in his opening statement nearly two weeks ago. “No, this defendant [was] texting multiple people, texting friends from work, friends in Florida and others back and forth, all choices that this defendant made in the moments before Alix Rice’s death. (H/T Christian)

And I quote (XIII)…

A 52-year-old Columbus woman didn’t have a chance to show up drunk for a third straight hearing in a drunken driving case in Platte County District Court.

Defendant Kathleen Klug was transferred directly from the county lockup for her sentencing hearing on an aggravated third-offense driving under the influence conviction in a Nov. 19, 2011, incident.

And I quote (XIV)…

On July 30, Vu, 18, was riding his bicycle home from work at around 1 a.m. when he was killed instantly by a driver who didn’t hit the brakes until after striking Vu and never stopped. Vu was struck while riding in a bike lane on Southeast Mather Road.

The driver, Artyom Pavlenko, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison and three years probation by Clackamas County Presiding Judge Robert D. Herndon. Pavlenko pleaded guilty to failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person. Herndon imposed the maximum sentence.

Vu, 18, smashed into the front of Pavlenko’s car, leaving a spider web of cracks across middle of the windshield and a crumpled hood.

Pavlenko, 29, turned himself in to police several hours after the incident. He claimed he was unaware he collided with anyone.

“There is no credible way (Pavlenko) did not know what happened,” prosecutor Michael Wu told Herndon.

And I quote (XV)…

Scarborough’s accident is similar to no fewer than four serious crashes in that same intersection in recent years, a small part of a larger tapestry. From 2007 to 2010 – the latest year for which complete figures are available – police recorded at least 751 bike accidents in Santa Cruz County, about one every two days.

Scarborough narrowly avoided becoming one of a handful of fatalities, including a 39-year-old Massachusetts man struck while riding with his dog in a basket along Highway 1 last week. Joshua Lavin’s body was discovered near Coast Road Friday morning. When the CHP arrived, they found his little dog standing guard. Lavin had been hit some 8 to 12 hours earlier. CHP are looking for a 1999 to 2004 Dodge Ram pickup believed to have hit Lavin and then fled the scene.

But victims like Scarborough and Lavin – and likely hundreds who never reported collisions – are a reminder that bikes and cars sharing the same road can be a strained marriage.

And I quote (XVI)…

A Santa Rosa couple has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a lawsuit that accused them of negligence for giving their alcoholic, adult son the pickup he was driving when he crashed into two teenage sisters at a bus stop.

Attorneys for Cruz Yesenia Pineda, now 17, say Richard and Judith Tweedie should have known that providing a truck to their son, Michael, had dangerous and foreseeable consequences, given his history of drug and alcohol use, drunken driving convictions, failed rehab attempts and evidence he continued to drink.

Caught, convicted, court appearance or car-on-car in … Baton Rouge, La.; Hybla Valley, Va.; St. Louis, Mo.; Summerville, SC; Amarillo, Texas; Oakland Park, Fla.; Smyrna, Ga.; South Richmond, Va.; Carlisle, Pa.; Needham, Mass.; Ocean Shores, Wash.; Santa Ana, Cal.; Galveston, Texas; New Caney, Texas, Ardmore, Okla.

More hit-and-run stories, including every volume of Hit-and-Run America (in reverse order), are accessible from this linked page. (The full Volume-by-Volume list will appear sporadically from now on.)

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