The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – A CBC student was hit by a car and died while crossing Chippewa Street near Ted Drewes. The driver of the vehicle that hit the teen left the scene. In this week’s Legal Lens, Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains what people should do if they witness a hit and run.

If someone gets hit by a driver and leaves the scene, are they out of luck?

“In today’s world, with all the technology it’s a mistake to assume that a driver can’t be found,” McNairy said. “Fleeing the scene is usually a misdemeanor or a felony, so you find that the police will be looking for them as well.”

What if you are on the side where you witness something like this happen, what should you do?

“Be proactive, if it happens near your home or your business, check your cameras,” McNairy said. “If you find footage give it to the victim of the crime or the police. If you are on-site you want to stay, even if you don’t think you have anything to add different than other witnesses are saying, stay on the scene and give your report to the police. People never know what’s important sometimes and later on the small facts can lead to finding somebody. Make sure your contact information is passed along to authorities.”

What should you do if you are a victim of a hit and run like the student from CBC or someone who is more fortunate and survives?

“If you are the victim make sure to locate all the witnesses on the scene, and contact information if you are able to do so,” McNairy said. “Do not assume the police will get everything from people who witnessed something. If drivers witnessed anything ask if they have cameras in their vehicles or captured anything on their phones. Post on local social media groups. A lot of time people will know someone who knows something and recognizes vehicle and damage and reports that person. Finally, whether or not the fleeing suspect is caught or not, call the police and get a police report because you will need it for your insurance whether they find the other vehicle.”