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Damage to public property question.

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  • Damage to public property question.

    Hello officers! Quick question...

    I live in NYS and was driving home late at night in a rural area when a deer ran out in front of me. I swerved to miss the deer, by aiming for what I thought was the shoulder. Fortunately I didn't hit the animal, but the shoulder was actually a small embankment and the car slid down in a way that I could not get it back it up. The front end is damaged as I ended up taking out a few small trees and bushes. I put a towel in the window and called a friend to come pick me up, figuring I'd call a tow truck first thing in the morning.

    The next day my car was already gone so I called the local sherriff's department who told me where my car is now located. They said I also took out some power lines and had to call the power company as they were towing my car. They will not let the tow company release the car to me until I speak with the deputy who was at the scene. What can I expect to happen?

    I'm sensing the biggest problem is that I left the scene after taken down public property. I was not aware that I had done so, and since I was the only one involved in the accident I didn't think much of it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have called the authorities anyway. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I'm afraid I've made a costly mistake.

  • #2
    Originally posted by spinman View Post
    I'm sensing the biggest problem is that I left the scene after taken down public property. I was not aware that I had done so, and since I was the only one involved in the accident I didn't think much of it.
    You have certainly lived up to your screen name by putting a spin on this one.

    It's really hard to take out power lines without knowing about it. Doing so usually involves knocking down a power pole, which is bound to get the immediate attention of most drivers. I would suspect you are looking at a misdemeanor hit and run charge.

    So, how many drinks did you have that night?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Whether the damage is done to private property, public property such as power lines, or just your vehicle, in TN (as I would think with many states), you are obligated to report it to law enforcement. It would have made sense to me to call your local police non-emergency number and report what had happened. They send a car out, write down the info, and tow your vehicle. At such a late hour, why were you in such a rush to go ahead and leave your car? I don't like leaving my vehicle anywhere. Seems odd to me. As L-1 advised, you sure some alcohol along with "a deer" didn't contribute to your "accident?"
      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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      • #4
        I would expect a "what the **** were you doing?" from the deputy when you talk to him. Don't play retarded either, that always makes me want to write people tickets for being ignorant. Just tell him the real story, be polite, and answer his questions honestly. You'll probably walk away with an accident report, some towing and storage fees, and maybe a minor citation if the deputy feels like it. (something along the line of failure to report accident, failure to maintain control, etc...)

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        • #5
          In Ohio you have 24 hours to report a accident on a public road with property damage. 48 hours on private property. If you explain what happened, then you will just get the cite for the accident. More then likely failure to control.

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