Providence Hit-and-Run Driver Surrenders to Police

As reported by Richard C. Dujardin in the November 5, 2010 edition of the Providence Journal, a woman turned herself in to the Rhode Island State Police. The woman is allegedly the driver of a hit-and-run accident that occurred on Atwells Avenue. She hit a local Providence councilman and then drove away. The councilman suffered serious injuries to his head and he is still hospitalized.

Although the woman did surrender to the Rhode Island State Police, they turned her over to the Providence Police. The Providence Police Department obtained a warrant for her arrest and charged her with leaving the scene of an accident, which resulted in serious bodily injury and driving to endanger.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-26-1, the driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible, but shall then immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of § 31-26-3. A stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

The penalties include:

Every person convicted of a first violation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year and for not more than ten (10) years and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). The sentencing judge shall have the discretion to sentence the person to any unit of the adult correctional institutions. Additionally, the license of the person may be revoked for a period of up to two (2) years. The license privilege shall not be reinstated until evidence satisfactory to the administrator of the division of motor vehicles establishes that no grounds exist which would authorize refusal to issue a license and until the person gives proof of financial responsibility pursuant to chapter 32 of this title.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-1.1, driving to endanger - resulting in personal injury is defined as when the serious bodily injury of any person ensues as a proximate result of the operation of any vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others, including violations of § 31-27-22, the person so operating the vehicle shall be guilty of "driving so as to endanger, resulting in serious bodily injury." "Serious bodily injury" means physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

The penalties include imprisonment for not more than five (5) years and license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for no more than three (3) years.

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