TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred Madden which would increase the penalties for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury was unanimously approved today by the Senate Law & Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The bill is named for Lawrence R. Skinner, Sr. and Michelle Margaritonda, both of whom were killed in hit and run car accidents.
“Leaving the scene of an accident that results in the death or serious injury of a person should not be tolerated”, said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This bill will increase the penalties in order to further deter those involved in serious automobile accidents from knowingly leaving the scene.”
Senator Madden’s bill, S-1418, would upgrade the penalties for knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that results in death from a third degree to a second degree crime. The bill would also increase the penalties for knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury from a fourth degree crime to a crime of the third degree.
A fourth degree crime is punishable by up to eighteen months in prison and fines of up to $1000. A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, and fines of up to $15,000. A crime of the second degree is punishable by five to ten years imprisonment, and fines of up to $150,000.
The measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.