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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Car wipers and cell phone blamed for fatal hit-and-run accident

Cell phones have been blamed for many accidents, causing some states to go as far as putting a ban on cell phone use period while driving a vehicle. But one man blames his poor wipers, as well as his cell phone, for causing him to have an auto accident that took the life of one person and injured another.

The 33-year-old man from Milwaukee was driving in the rain around 10:30 p.m. Saturday evening when he hit a man and a woman who were crossing the street in front of Ela's de Copas Tavern.

The two were headed across the street where the woman was planning to give the man a ride home. The woman's leg was broken along with five ribs. She also suffered torn ligaments in her knee and a gash in her head. The 39-year-old man was killed.

The Milwaukee driver then fled the accident and drove home. He hid his van in the garage so the damage would not be seen; however, he went to the police the next morning and reported his crime. The driver claimed that he was in a panic and didn't know what to do, which is why he fled the scene.

He also claimed that the cause of the accident was an incoming call on his cell phone and bad windshield wipers. His wipers were allegedly coming apart and not clearing the windshield well. Then his phone was ringing and he looked down to see who it was. When he looked up, he saw the couple in the road right before hitting them. He states that he hit them hard.

The driver told the police he was afraid of losing the new business he had just started and was worried about his responsibility of supporting his three grandchildren. He is now facing charges of hit and run causing death, hit and run causing injury, and driving while suspended causing death. On top of facing prison time and fines if convicted, he may also be liable for wrongful death charges if the deceased victim's family decides to sue.

Source: jsonline.com, "Milwaukee man charged in hit-and-run pedestrian death" Gina Barton, Oct. 03, 2013

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