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Kansas driver fled after horse and rider fatality

Panic driven by fear of consequences motivates drivers to flee the scene of auto accidents. Uncaptured hit-and-run drivers escape criminal charges, prosecution and penalties, while Kansas accident victims' struggle with injuries and families grieve the loss of a loved one.

Authorities want to find a driver who sped away from the site of a fatal accident in Wichita. The nighttime crash occurred when a car described as a sedan collided with a horse and two riders crossing a road. The injured horse fell onto the car causing severe damage that officials hope will help them identify the missing vehicle.

A 49-year-old man was killed in the crash. A boy riding with him suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

As the car sped off, a pair of witnesses who attempted to help the riders also became victims.

A second car crashed into the accident scene. The volunteer rescuers -- a man and a teenage girl attempting to call for help -- were struck and injured. The driver told police she never saw the people in the middle of the road until the accident.

The quarter horse wandered off the road after the first collision. Officials were forced to euthanize the animal.

Horse riding along Wichita streets is permitted as long as animals are outfitted with reflective wear. Investigators said the horse involved in the crash was not properly marked.

Observers are often shocked that any driver would speed off after an accident rather than aid or comfort victims. In rare cases, when visibility is limited, drivers are unaware they have struck something other than an inanimate obstacle. Police believe this hit-and-run driver could not avoid acknowledging the human suffering.

If or when the driver is found, he or she will face criminal charges. Separate civil claims for damages also could be filed by the injured child's parents and the family of the man who died.

Source:, "Police seek driver in fatal horse-rider hit-and-run accident" Stan Finger, Jul. 08, 2013

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