On May 5, 2009, Arthur Burrus, age 49, tragically lost his life to an intoxicated hit and run driver. According to news sources, Luciano Rios, 30 years old, from Croyden, PA fled the initial scene of the accident, struck a barrier flipping his BMW, struck another car and twice more tried to escape police. Rios was speeding east on Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, PA at 8:30 p.m. when he struck Mr. Burrus who was walking southbound across Erie at 9th Street. Mr. Burrus was struck with such force that he was thrown 173 feet into the air and severed one of his legs, causing the 2007 BMW operated by Mr. Rios to go out of control secondarily striking a Dodge Durango occupied by 6 other people and then turned up right. A search of the criminal docket reveals that on February 19, 2005, Luciano Rios was also previously charged with DUI with a blood alcohol content of .10 to .16 to which he pled guilty.
I am noticing an interesting trend in my practice noting with particular interest that in the last few months we have seen many cases involving repeat DUI offenders with minimal insurance coverage or no insurance at all where innocent victims have been catastrophically injured or killed. In one of our recent cases, a gentleman with a substantial criminal record was traveling northbound on a highway at a high rate of speed while intoxicated and his vehicle flipped over, crossed the highway, killed the driver of the vehicle and placed the passenger in a vegetative coma.
Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill an individual approximately every ½ hour and non-fatally but catastrophically injure someone in America every 10 minutes. Individuals driving while intoxicated, otherwise known as DUI, are responsible for more than 1/3 of all traffic deaths in this country. Believe it or not, the current law actually benefits those who leave the scene of an accident when intoxicated.
Continue reading "
Hit and Run In Philadelphia - Enough Is Enough! Penalties Need More “Teeth”