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Hit-and-run driver convicted, awaits sentencing

When an accident happens, an investigation often reveals the cause. Sometimes it's just an unfortunate accident, other times; the car accident could have been prevented. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers and negligent drivers can cause serious injury and unimaginable pain and suffering to anyone who is unfortunate enough to cross their paths.

A man who was behind the wheel of a hit-and-run accident that killed an 11-year-old West Miami-Dade girl was convicted recently of evidence tampering and leaving the scene of an accident, according to a Miami Herald article.

The accident occurred on Jan. 8, 2009, when a substitute school bus driver let the 11-year-old off the bus on the wrong side of the street. As she was crossing back across the street, a 37-year-old man driving a pickup truck stuck her. She was reportedly thrown 80 feet. The truck kept going. The girl's family eventually settled with the Miami-Dade school district.

According to the report, the man took his truck to an auto body shop to be repaired and even filed an insurance claim through his insurance provider. The truck was in the process of being repaired when police, tipped by a citizen, tracked down the vehicle and arranged to pick up the driver. Officials said the man maintained he thought he had hit a dog.

This month, a jury took 25 minutes to convict him. The man, a father of two himself, will be sentenced early next year and is facing between two and 35 years in jail. The mother of the dead girl in this case says the trial was painful, but that she enjoys a certain sense of closure. Whether a wrongful death suit against the man is likely is not known. If it is, the conviction on criminal charges might make it easier to make a case for just compensation.

Source: The Miami Herald, "West Miami-Dade hit-and-run driver convicted, awaiting sentencing," David Orvalle, Nov. 22, 2012

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