A hit-and-run crash on Highway 3 northbound in Bremerton seriously injured three late Sunday, and alcohol and drugs are believed to be a factor, according to the Washington State Police. Three vehicles were totaled in the crash. The driver of a red Chevy Cavalier fled the scene on foot and is still at large.
The driver of a blue 2000 Jaguar was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with severe injuries. The passenger was taken to Tacoma General Hospital. The driver of a silver 2007 Saturn was taken to Harborview as well.
Police say the Chevy Cavalier was traveling at high speeds and attempted to pass the Saturn using the right shoulder. The Cavalier then lost control and went across the centerline, slamming head-on into the Jaguar. The highway was blocked for eight hours for cleanup and investigation into the crash.
Police ask anyone with information about the crash to contact State Patrol Detective Michael Welander at 360-473-0300.
If You Are Involved In A Hit-And-Run
According to a 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, fatal hit-and-run crashes are on the rise, going from 1,274 in 2009, to 1,393 in 2010, to 1,449 in 2011. It’s estimated there are over 700,000 hit-and-run incidents every year in the United States, with that number continuing to rise.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents may be upset, confused and unsure of what to do next. Contact your insurance company to begin the claims process, as they will provide information about the next steps for handling your claim. Your insurance rates should not be affected in cases like these, but that does not mean your insurance carrier will cover the accident. To protect yourself in the event of a hit-and-run, it’s smart to have both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, as well as Collision coverage.
Hit-and-run incidents are covered minus your deductible in most cases. If you do not carry UM/UIM, then your Collision coverage should pick up the tab – minus your deductible. If you have UM coverage, your insurance will be responsible for paying your medical bills, any lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
For someone who caused an accident and left the scene, the consequences are severe. The driver will likely face heavy fines and/or imprisonment depending on the state’s law. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the driver who caused the injuries, and consulting with an experienced car accident attorney is typically beneficial for car accident victims. If a person died in a hit-and-run, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on state laws, a hit-and-run accident could stay on the driver’s record for 5-7 years.