Just past midnight on July 7, 2009 Patti Pattison was involved in an accident on the 241 toll road. While heading home after working at Hoag Hospital she was hit in the back, the passenger door, and the front of her car. She then spun around several times, describing it as “the teacups at Disneyland,” as reported in the Orange County Register.
Normally, someone who causes this accident would have stopped and seen if Ms. Pattison was alright, but instead the hit and run driver drove away without a blink. Isn’t it outrageous that the accident causing driver left the scene without checking if Ms. Pattison was alright? With only the vague description of a beige car from Ms. Pattison, the probability of finding the driver has left her dissatisfied.
Luckily the Toll Road records every vehicle that passes through. This includes vehicles with transponders as well as those to pay cash, and even the ones who try to skip out on payment. Patti Pattison is sure the vehicle did not stop at the Toll Road booth but instead sped out of the Alton Parkway exit without stopping.
The vehicle either had a Toll Road pass which would have been recorded with the transponder owners name, address, phone number, etc, or the driver tried to skip out on payment and had a picture taken of the license plate. Either way the vehicle should be discoverable.
The CHP had asked the Transportation Corridor Agencies, who run the Toll Roads, for identification of the vehicle. Strangely no results were found.
Was every effort really made to find the vehicle identification? Obviously, the toll company was not going to be paid for the search effort. Should it still do a thorough search to help locate the hit and run driver? By not completing a thorough search, we are encouraging people to run and get away from their legal responsibilities.
Devonie Migues is an intern with Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, a firm specializing in auto accident liability and recovery.