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Driver fails to call police after crash in Chautauqua County

Drivers who find themselves involved in an injurious auto accident should be aware of the proper steps to take after the collision, both at the scene and in the subsequent days and weeks. Sometimes a driver whose negligence caused a crash will try to shirk responsibility and attempt to convince the other driver to simply call a tow truck rather than police.

However, Pennsylvania residents should be aware that a police report, in addition to other items such as photographs of the accident scene and statements from witnesses, can strengthen a liability claim against a negligent driver. Not calling police can also lead to criminal charges if a driver leaves the scene of a


That was the case recently in Mina, New York, where police say a man from Erie, Pennsylvania, lost control of his vehicle en route from Jamestown and crashed into a highway sign on Interstate 86. According to authorities, the 25-year-old left the snowy accident site and made his way to a nearby hotel, where Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies located him.

He had reportedly called a tow truck but not police. The deputies apparently became suspicious that the man was intoxicated, and they asked him to submit to a breath test, which he refused. He was taken into custody and charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and unsafe lane change.

Luckily, in this case, no injuries were reported.

When drivers in New York and Pennsylvania are involved in an accident, it is best to call police, ask for a copy of the police report, and get the responding officer's information, such as name and badge number.

It is also important not to say or do anything that might be construed as evidence that you were in any way at fault for the crash. It isn't uncommon for insurance companies and at-fault drivers to use such statements as evidence in reducing compensation for damages resulting from a car accident.

Source: The Buffalo News, "

Calling two truck instead of cops adds to driver's woes after crash

," Dec. 8, 2013

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