Ohio Supreme Court Sides with Motorist Who Left Crash Scene

Ohio law does not require a driver to remain at the scene of an accident if the driver is unaware that the police have been or will be called to the accident scene as long as the driver provides the required contact information to the operators or owners of other involved vehicles and to any person injured in the accident, according to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling.

A Supreme Court majority reversed a First District Appeals Court decision that found a Hamilton County man guilty of leaving the scene of an accident an hour after it occurred. The Court found that motorists involved in accidents are expected to wait a reasonable amount of time after police have been notified.

Writing for the Court majority, Justice Judith L. French stated that Ohio law does not require all motor vehicle accidents be reported to police, and the current statute is unclear how long a driver must wait when a police officer is not at the scene of the accident.

The Court vacated the motorist's conviction for leaving the scene of an accident.

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