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Teen driver faces harsher punishment due to new Texas law

A Midland teen that was recently arrested after of a fatal accident may now face a longer prison sentence due to a new law that went into effect on Sept. 1. The law changed the classification of leaving the scene of a fatal accident from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. A second-degree felony can be punished with a prison sentence ranging for two to 20 years. A third degree felony can lead to a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years.

The accident happened on Sept. 15 at 3:56 a.m. The teen was pulling out of convenience store on South Rankin Highway when his pickup truck collided with an SUV. The SUV flipped in the accident, and the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from his vehicle. He later died at the hospital. The 18-year-old driver of the truck drove away from the accident and abandoned his truck. Police arrested him as continued trying to flee on foot.

The Midland Police Department is so overwhelmed with hit-and-run cases that it has an officer assigned to handle just those cases. That investigator claims that there have been 382 such accidents in Midland just this year. The wreck in this story was the third fatal hit-and-run accident this year.

The new law and the harsher punishments given to those who flee fatal accidents may help convince some drivers to remain at an accident scene. Those who have lost family members in hit-and-run accidents know how painful the experience can be. No amount of compensation can ever replace what a loved one contributed to their family. An attorney with experience in cases involving auto accidents may be able to help a victim’s family receive compensation for a wrongful death, which helps to relieve the burden that the loss of a loved one places on a family.

Source: My West Texas, “Midland teen faces harder penalties for fatal hit-and-run crash following law change“, Tyler White, September 23, 2013