Hit-and-run crimes are bad enough, especially when someone is seriously injured or killed.
But to hit, run and hide – with the obvious intent to never be found out? That’s a special class of despicable.
And here’s the reason: You can hit and injure or kill someone accidentally. You can maybe even panic and run – although doing so is its own brand of detestable, since you are failing to render aid and leaving someone to perhaps die.
But when you then decide in a cooler moment to remain in hiding – by getting your vehicle painted or repaired, for instance – you’ve moved on to an even higher degree of putrid.
What you have done then is to say that, instead of inconveniencing yourself by being accountable for your actions, you would rather consign a family to a lifetime of grief and maddening uncertainty. You’d rather get off scot-free and allow your victim’s relatives and friends to live the rest of their lives not knowing what happened to their loved one or why, or who did it.
What a perfectly rotten and wholly reprehensible act.
What we’re hearing in the case of the bicyclist who was killed by a pickup truck that left the road at about 6:30 a.m. May 15 on Mike Padgett Highway is that it appears to be a tragic accident. Authorities have their suspicions about what may have precipitated the crash, but may never be able to prove it.
But what happened next was no accident.
The driver left the scene – and left reflective-vest-wearing cyclist Dennis John Skillman, 42, for dead.
Then, according to authorities, Christopher Ray Provost, 35, tried to hide the damage to his aptly named Dodge pickup, in an alleged attempt to go undetected. For the rest of his life, one supposes.
This may be the scenario we are taught by television shows and movies; you try to escape the consequences of your actions. You try to get away with it.
The truth is, you rarely do get away with it, at least for long, especially in today’s information age when there are so many avenues for acts and actors to be seen and caught.
But even if you do get away with it, in all your shortsighted selfishness, you’ve only added to a family’s agony. A family, mind you, that you have already grievously wronged.
Running from the scene of a crime or crash is no accident
And neither is hiding out and hoping you’ll never be held accountable.