A woman who left the scene of a collision which claimed the life of a teenage pedestrian has been arrested and charged with a felony and a misdemeanor.
The wreck happened on Monday night in Dayton, Texas. George Hathcoat, just 17 years old, was struck and killed by a car allegedly being driven by Pamela Markham. The incident occurred near the intersection of FM 1409 and PR 456. After the impact, it is reported that Ms. Markham drove to a nearby parking lot. There, she evidently thought she had hit a deer. She called relatives to come to the scene, and, because she had reportedly been drinking earlier, she tried to get a friend to take responsibility for the crash. Later, a first responder to the fatality approached Ms. Markham’s group to ask if anyone needed medical help. When someone answered that a deer had been hit, the first responder indicated that it was a person, not a deer, whom the car had struck. Ms. Markham left the scene, but later returned and initially tried to claim that someone else was driving, according to media accounts. However, she later admitted that she was the driver. She has now been charged with Accident Involving Death, a Third Degree Felony, and Driving While Intoxicated, a Class B Misdemeanor. Court records indicate that Ms. Markham was arrested earlier this year for Public Intoxication.
Friends and loved ones of George Hathcoat are mourning his death. And Ms. Markham now faces felony charges. All of this stems from another pedestrian collision after which the driver tried to get away. Motorists must remain aware of road conditions and the presence of both other vehicles and pedestrians. And pedestrians should bear in mind that drivers may not see them or yield to them. But, most importantly, people must simply avoid driving while impaired. The hazards of driving while intoxicated are too great and too well known to justify the risk. Take a cab or get a friend: but don’t drive drunk.