Fatal Hit and Run Accident in South Carolina
On January 14, 2016, Ryan Kelly struck and killed 15-year old Errik Giles with his vehicle as Errik was walking home. Mr. Kelly then fled the scene, leaving Errik’s body on the side of an Aiken, SC road.
That is when Mr. Kelly’s attempt to further conceal his act began. It is believed that Mr. Kelly drove his vehicle home, and attempted to hide the car in a nearby shed. Reports indicate that he then took his dog on a walk near the scene of the crime, where he proceeded to call 911 from a neighbor’s home and provide false information to the dispatcher and authorities. Fortunately, law enforcement officers were able to identify the vehicle that hit Errik from debris in the roadway, and ultimately arrested Mr. Kelly for fleeing the accident scene.
Holding Mr. Kelly Accountable for Wrongful Death
South Carolina’s civil laws require a driver to do everything possible to avoid striking a pedestrian. And though law enforcement ruled that Mr. Kelly was not at fault for actually hitting Errik, we were able to obtain the bodily injury and property damage limits from multiple insurance companies based on the possibility of a seven-figure wrongful death jury verdict. As we made clear, law enforcement’s findings may have resulted in some percentage of comparative fault being placed on the child, but they would not overcome a conspicuity expert’s testimony, and much less a jury’s desire to see Mr. Kelly pay for his hit and run.
The Giles have lost a son. He cannot be replaced. Our job was to hold Mr. Kelly accountable in our civil courts and attempt to provide Errik’s family with some degree of comfort. We did all we could, and hope our criminal courts do much more when it comes time for sentencing.
If you have any questions about a wrongful death or other accident case in South Carolina, do not hesitate to contact us today. We are here to help.