Culver City News
December 10, 2009
Hit-and-Run Kills Family Pet; Police Seek Driver
Hit a pedestrian in your car and flee, and you’ve committed a crime. That’s common knowledge. However, drivers may not be aware the same holds true if the victim has four legs instead of two.
That very issue came to light with a tragic outcome for a Culver City family last week, when their pet Doberman Pinscher was struck in the 4100 block of Madison Avenue. The accident occurred at approximately 6:30p.m. Dec. 2, when the dog, named Tommy, broke free from the grasp of an 8-year old boy while on a leashed walk and ran into the street. Culver City police are now looking for the female driver of a champagne-colored Ford sport-utility vehicle in connection with the hit-and-run.
“Whenever you’re in a vehicle and you have an accident, and you strike a person or property, you need to stop,” said Sgt. Mike Webb of the Culver City Police Department, one of three officers to arrive on the scene soon after the accident. “It would certainly be nice, if you hit an animal, if you would try to take it for assistance.”
While that final step is not required by law, stopping is. According to Section 20002(a) of the California Vehicle Code, “the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.”
The statute goes on to say a person involved in such an accident should also attempt to “locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property.”
“As cruel as it may sound, an animal is property for purposes of this,” Sgt. Webb said. “Leave a note and call the police, basically. If you don’t do it, you are guilty of a misdemeanor.”
While Tommy survived the collision, veterinarians at City of Angels Veterinary Specialty Center made the decision to euthanize the pet later that night.
Anyone with more information on the accident is asked to contact Webb at (310) 253-6216.