Police chief dies in hit-and-run motorcycle accident

Leaving the scene of an accident can endanger the lives of others. It can also potentially lead to a lengthy prison sentence.

A Florida motorist is facing serious charges after allegedly leaving the scene of a seriousmotorcycle accident in Panama City Beach. The driver apparently hit a motorcyclist, a police chief from another state who was vacationing in Florida. That man died last week from his injuries stemming from the crash.

The accident happened on Thomas Drive late last month. The police chief was riding in a group of motorcyclists when the 52-year-old driver apparently pulled in front of him without signaling. The motorcyclist then struck the vehicle and was thrown over the handlebars of his motorcycle onto the ground.

The motorcyclist, who had served as a police chief for 15 years, survived the crash but suffered very serious injuries. He died several days later at a hospital, surrounded by his family.

The driver fled the scene of the accident but was later located and arrested. He is facing a variety of charges, including leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Panama City News Herald.

He may be facing more: In the wake of the motorcyclist’s death, prosecutors may add DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene with death. The latter charge is a first-degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. He could, of course, get additional jail time if convicted of the manslaughter charge.

Source: Panama City News Herald, “Update: Lowell police chief dies after Panama City Beach wreck,” Jessica McCarthy, May 4, 2012