In a bizarre and tragic series of events, a man is alleged to have left the scene of an accident that killed a pedestrian to purchase an alcoholic drink, and then returned. Police assert that 21-year-old Richard Schenfield hit and killed 51-year-old Frank Moates, who was riding his bicycle in Polk County. Police claim that Schenfield left the scene and went to a nearby Circle K convenience store to purchase a beer, and then returned to the accident and told police that he had no knowledge of the crash. Thus far, Schenfield has been charged with leaving the scene of a traffic crash with a fatality and failure to obtain a valid Florida driver’s license.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Schenfield had returned to the accident by the time officers arrived. When police questioned him, he said he had no knowledge of the crash and had just left his house a short time before to get cigarettes. When deputies detected the smell of alcohol on Schenfield, they checked out his 1997 Honda. When they saw the vehicle may have had damage under the driver’s side front wheel, they performed a detailed inspection and linked the car to the accident. There is video evidence from the convenience store that shows Schenfield checking under the car for damage and walking into the store to purchase the beer.
Cycling and walking are seen by many as a desirable way to exercise and by others as an eco-friendly, economical mode of transportation. Despite this, cycling and walking are not without its dangers. Due to the lack of protection that a bicycle provides a rider, cyclists that are involved in accidents often sustain serious injuries. As shown by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents caused a total of 618 bicycle-related fatalities in 2010 and an additional 52,000 injuries. Many of these accidents are caused by the driver of the vehicle, often when the driver did not pay proper attention or was driving unsafely.
Have you been hit by a car or other vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The pedestrian accident lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are skilled at investigating these types of accidents and building the best possible case to receive maximum compensation. To learn about your legal options, fill out the free case review form on the right.