It's Important to Purchase Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage of Your Own

02/09/2009 | Auto, Semi & Motorcycle Wrecks

A Kentucky man was recently convicted following a hit and run truck wreck that took the life of University of Kentucky Co-ed Connie Blount; however, this was not Shannon Houser's first run in with the law, nor is it the first time he has had a car accident that has killed someone.

In 1993, Houser was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter following a car wreck on Russell Cave Road in Lexington, Kentucky that killed his friend .  Houser received probation after his victim's parents wrote Judge Mary Noble asking for leniency.  

In 2008 Shannon Houser struck Connie Blount, 18, with his pickup in the early morning of April 13. Blount, who investigators have said crossed Broadway against the light, had knelt down in the street, according to testimony.  Houser then left the scene of the wreck.

Last Thursday, a Fayette County, Kentucky jury found Houser guilty of attempting to tamper with evidence, and not guilty of marijuana possession. Later Thursday, the jury unanimously recommended that Houser be sentenced to five years for the tampering charge and one year for leaving the scene of an accident. Judge James Ishmael set the sentencing hearing for March 6, 2008.  The jury recommended a six year sentence.

It's unlcear whether Blount's family filed a civil suit against Houser, but if they did Houser could he held liable for compensatory damages (pain and suffering and the loss of Connie's power to labor and earn money) as well as punitive damages for Houser's gross negligence.  As an interesting aside, in a civil case, it may not even be admissible that Hanover left the scene since it wouldn't be relevant to the question of whether Hanover was negligent in causing the wreck (according to testimony, Connie was kneeling down in the middle of the street when the wreck occured).  

Based on Houser's criminal record, I doubt he would be the type of responsible person that purchased enough insurance to compensate for such an enourmous loss.  This is a good example of why it's important to purchase Uninsured and Underinsured coverage of your own.  This type of insurance protects you if someone else causes an accident and doesn't have enough insurance. Talk your agent about this after reading my Free Special Report; Secrets to Buying Car Insurance

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