Hit-and-run accidents are potentially the hardest cases to solve because they not only leave so many questions unanswered but also leave the victims and their families left with no one to hold accountable for the outcome of those accidents.
That's certainly the case for the family of a 29-year-old Traverse City woman who died last month after she was struck while riding her bicycle during the early-morning hours of July 5. According to reports, she was dragged by the vehicle for about 1 1/2 blocks. She suffered serious injuries that eventually led to her death some time later. Though police speculate that the driver who struck her was driving a pickup truck or an SUV, the driver had fled the scene before police could question them about the events.
When the fatal accident first broke, police urged the driver or anyone with information to come forward. Now, over a month later, police still do not know who is responsible for the 29-year-old woman's death and are once again urging the public--and possibly the driver--to come forward with information.
While having the driver come forward would be a huge relief for the widower of the 29-year-old woman and her family, any outcome from a civil claim would likely have to wait until after police wrap up their criminal investigation. Although this may mean continuing the agonizing wait for justice, having a complete police investigation may help them better understand what they are able to claim if they decide to take civil action against the driver responsible.
Sources: The Detroit Free Press, "Police renew search for hit-and-run driver that killed bicyclist," The Associated Press, Aug. 6, 2013
Mlive.com, "Kelly Hurlbert, victim in Traverse City hit-and-run crash, was 'beautiful inside and out,' husband says," Kyle Moroney, July 16, 2013