On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, a 36-year-old mother was killed by hit-and-run drivers while helping a woman in a wheelchair cross the street. The accident happened around 10 pm, on 7 Mile Road at Beland Street, between Outer Drive and Hoover Street, on Detroit's west side. According to CBS Detroit, relatives say that the victim Darlene Austin was helping a woman in a wheelchair cross the street outside of her home, when she was struck by two cars after she slipped and fell. Both drivers fled the scene after hitting Darlene. After Darlene was hit she was rushed to a local hospital where she died.
Neighbors of Darlene Austin said that new LED street lights were installed in the area, and at the time they were not working. Neighbors also mentioned that it's common to see cars speeding by on their street. Police are currently searching for the vehicles that fled. One of the vehicles is described as an old blue pickup truck with a ladder rack, and the other car has an unknown description. The Austin family is begging for those who committed the crime to turn themselves in.
"There is no such thing as a snitch," said Austin's cousin Carmeshia Thomas. "If it was your family member you would want somebody to speak up. Please speak up and help us. Help us get closure."
Hit-and-run accidents are increasing each year. According to USA Today, the National Highway Traffic Administration says the number of hit-and-run crashes is trending upward. In 2009 there were 1,274, in 2010 there were 1,393, and in 2011 there were 1,449. Although hit-and-run accidents increased over this 3 year period, traffic deaths overall fell by 4.5%.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our accident attorneys are here to help you with questions about insurance problems, medical expenses, and pain and suffering benefits as allowed by Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.