Jackson County car accident attorneys know that motorists sometimes do a better job of looking out for other cars than other kinds of vehicles, particularly motorcycles and motor scooters. At this time of year, many drivers don't expect these vehicles to be on the road, but they're a regular mode of transportation for many Missouri residents. Of course, because of their size, motorcycles and scooters are significantly less easy to see than other cars. It's not uncommon for a vehicle to change lanes or make a turn only to cut off or collide with one of these vehicles, simply because the driver had no idea it was there. Sadly, these kinds of collisions frequently result in catastrophic injury and death, because drivers of motorcycles and scooters are less protected from the impact.
Recently, a car-motor scooter collision precipitated a fatal hit and run accident in Lee's Summit. In late December, 36 year-old David Bettis was traveling north on Missouri Highway 291 when his scooter collided with a pickup truck. The truck was attempting to cross the highway at its intersection with Northeast Dearbrook Terrace when the accident occurred. A passenger on the scooter, along with the pickup's driver and passenger, sustained minor injuries--both occupants of the scooter were wearing proper helmets (which is a state law here in Missouri). Tragically, Bettis, who was thrown from the scooter on impact with the pickup, was struck by a third vehicle as he lay in the roadway. He died as a result of his injuries.
Police continue to look for this third vehicle, which left the scene of the accident. According to Sgt. Chris Depue of the Lee's Summit Police Department, "We do not have a color; the witness statements only gave us a small SUV or crossover. It should have front-end damage to the right front and may have black transfer paint from the victim's helmet."
The vehicle was last seen on Highway 291, traveling north. If you have any information about this accident or this vehicle, please contact the Lee's Summit Police Department at 816-969-1765 or 816-969-1752.
Apparently, the place where the accident occurred is well-known to some local residents. Eight years ago, a group of citizens petitioned the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for a stoplight at the 291-Northeast Dearbrook Terrace intersection, but that petition was denied. Since then, new businesses have moved into the area around the intersection, creating even more traffic.
Sgt. Depue also indicated that the circumstances that caused the accident are still under investigation: police will determine which driver was at fault. At present, it is unclear whether Bettis or the pickup truck driver had the right of way. However, the third vehicle is a factor as well: leaving the scene of an accident that caused a fatality is automatically a felony offense in Missouri, regardless of who is at fault.
At Aaron Sachs and Associates, we're focused on representing the needs and interests of accident victims. We never represent defendants or insurance companies, and we offer a free initial consultation. If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of Missouri auto accident, call us at 1-888-777-AUTO, or visit our website at http://www.autoinjury.com.
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