Man accused of fleeing scene after hitting elderly pedestrian
Published: October 11, 2012
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ST. CROIX - A 36-year-old man was advised of his rights in V.I. Superior Court on Wednesday morning after being charged in connection with an automobile-pedestrian accident reported to police last week.
Fritz Jean, of William's Delight appeared before Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho and was advised of his rights through the use of a French Creole interpreter on charges of negligent driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, leaving an accident after causing injury and leaving keys in the ignition of an unattended vehicle.
According to court documents filed by V.I. Police Officer Samantha Smith, officers were sent to the scene of an accident in which a pedestrian had been injured about 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29. Based on statements from witnesses and the review of a business surveillance camera in the area, police learned that the pedestrian, a man in his 70s, had purchased a small container of gasoline from the service station nearby and went toward the street, according to Smith. As he crossed the street, he cleared the eastbound lane and partially cleared the westbound lane of traffic when he was struck by a blue 1995 Nissan Sentra driven by Jean, she said.
The man lay motionless in the roadway, and Jean and a passenger were seen getting out of the vehicle and walking away from the scene of the collision, according to Smith. The car was put in park and the engine was still running, she said.
The pedestrian sustained severe injuries to his head, including a fractured skull and had two fractures to his left leg, according to Smith.
The car was traced to a man who said that he sold the car to Jean in August, according to court documents. Jean did not update the registration for the vehicle, but he did purchase insurance, Smith said.
When Jean was located, he waived his rights and told police that he was driving on Queen Mary Highway when the man suddenly crossed the street in front of him, according to Smith's affidavit. Jean said he did not know the man was injured, but Jean was in shock after the crash and got scared and left, according to the affidavit.
During the advice-of-rights hearing, Camacho verified that Jean, who is from Haiti, is in the country legally. The judge allowed him to remain released on bail after securing a third-party custodian and posting $1,000 in cash to satisfy his bail.
- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.