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The Provincial Court of Santander has handed down a sentence of six months in prison to a man who failed to assist a pedestrian who had been knocked down when crossing the road improperly.

The recent reform of the Criminal Code relating to crimes against road safety, which came into force in March, incorporates a new offence of abandonment of the place of the incident, with penalties of 2 to 4 years in prison in the event of the incident being as a result of imprudence, or from 3 to 6 months in prison in the event of a lesser degree of a charge.

According to the account of events that appears in the sentence, the defendant was driving a car when a pedestrian walked into the road without looking, and although the driver attempted to stop, there was nothing that could be done to avoid the collision.

Although the court rules that there was nothing the driver could have done to avoid hitting the victim, “Being aware that he had run over the pedestrian, who after seeing him lying stretched on the road, suffered a state of nervousness,” the inability to avoid the incident did not affect the driver´s ability to react to the aftermath.

The reports state that the man “left the scene in the vehicle without stopping to assist the pedestrian and without checking the state in which he was in”.

Minutes later, the man returned to the place accompanied by another person who he stated was his “boss”, identifying himself to the police officers who attended the incident that he was the driver of the vehicle.

The pedestrian was taken by ambulance to Valdecilla Hospital, where he died that same day as a result of the serious injuries caused by the incident.

According to the resolution, the members of the jury unanimously agreed that “the pedestrian walked into the road in an unregulated manner, and, therefore, the defendant could not avoid the incident”.

However, the jury found him guilty in view of the fact that that the man left “knowing, or at least being in a position to know, that the pedestrian could have suffered serious injuries and that he needed urgent assistance.”

The sentence of six months in prison has been suspended for two years.

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