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Driver who struck pedestrian will not be charged

Massachusetts authorities have announced that they will not bring charges against the driver who hit and severely injured a 22-year-old woman in Northampton in December. However, the victim’s parents allege that her injuries were made worse by the driver’s failure to quickly stop her vehicle after the collision. According to police, the victim was using a crosswalk on Bridge Street around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2014, when a car driven by an 18-year-old Easthampton woman struck her and dragged her for approximately 150 feet. She was trapped beneath the vehicle for 20 minutes and suffered severe burns and serious brain damage. The accident left her unable to communicate or move her limbs, and she is now in an acute care facility. Police investigators concluded that the accident was caused by bad weather and poor visibility. They noted that the driver stopped within seconds of the crash and immediately called 911. However, the victim’s parents contend that stopping within seconds of the crash was not good enough, and the driver’s actions caused their daughter to be dragged by the car, worsening her injuries. Medical bills for the injured woman’s long-term care is expected to reach several million dollars. Her medical insurer is covering some of the expenses, but her family said the uncovered portion is significant. Even when authorities choose not to bring criminal charges against a driver who struck a pedestrian, the victim has the right to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against that individual seeking compensation. Possible damages include current and future medical costs, pain and suffering and lost wages. Source: GazetteNet.com, “Driver who struck Chloe Rombach in Northampton crosswalk will not face criminal charges; parents say failure to stop sooner worsened daughter’s injuries,” Rebecca Everett, April 8, 2015

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