Attorney Jonathon Douglas Weighs in on New Year’s Day Fatal Pedestrian Crash
Attorney Jonathon Douglas Weighs in on New Year's Day Fatal Pedestrian Crash

Attorney Jonathon Douglas Weighs in on New Year’s Day Fatal Pedestrian Crash

Shock and confusion are in the air regarding a fatal pedestrian crash on New Year's Day.

What Happened?

Shock and confusion are in the air regarding a fatal pedestrian crash on New Year’s Day.

According to Thornton Police, a woman died after a rideshare driver dropped her on the side of I-25 around midnight. The driver dropped her near the 470 interchange, after which she walked into the roadway. The woman was then struck by two cars and pronounced dead.

One car stopped, while the other continued as a hit-and-run. The hit-and-run driver of a pickup truck sideswiped the woman but turned himself in the next day. Police have identified him as Adam Wooley, 33, of Frederick. Wooley has been charged with hit-and-run involving death. However, the other car stayed at the scene, cooperated with the police, and was not charged.

The woman was in a rideshare with friends when she allegedly got sick in the car. It’s unclear whether the driver or the passengers terminated the ride, but the driver pulled over on the interstate. He then left the woman and her friends on the roadside.

Who Is Liable for the Woman’s Death?

So, who can be held accountable for this woman’s death? Is the rideshare driver partially at fault for leaving this woman on the side of an interstate? CBS News reached out to one of Denver’s leading personal injury attorneys, Jonathon Douglas, for advice. Douglas said, “lots of questions” need to be answered.

Although the woman died from being hit by a car, there is a question of civil liability on the rideshare driver’s end. Thornton police have already stated that they will not file criminal charges against the rideshare driver. But the driver did something very questionable. He didn’t just leave the woman on the side of any road – he left her on the interstate, which is pretty unbelievable.

Was the driver negligent for dropping a passenger on the side of the I-25? It’s too early to tell if the woman’s family has a case against the driver. But, Attorney Jonathon Douglas says that a thorough investigation is crucial in a case like this.

Is the Rideshare Driver Partially At Fault for the Woman’s Death?

While we don’t yet know all the facts of the case, Michael McManus, a fellow Uber driver, says that all drivers should care when they have people’s lives in their hands. McManus has completed over 17,000 trips in the Denver area. And he also said, “it’s just not something a normal human being would do.”

The driver could have refused to accept the trip if he had seen beforehand that they were intoxicated. Or, he could have charged her a cleaning fee. At the very least, he could have exited the highway before dropping her off. There are several different avenues the driver could have taken to help prevent the tragic mishap.

What Happens After a Fatal Pedestrian Crash?

After an extensive investigation, we will know if the woman’s family has a case. They could potentially have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the rideshare driver or the driver who hit her.

If any of the parties negligence caused the accident that killed the woman, her surviving family members could file a wrongful death suit. Since so many parties were involved in this case, determining liability will be a complex process. However, the woman’s family deserves justice. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist them in clearly establishing liability and holding the appropriate parties accountable.

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