Under Nevada law, a driver who has been involved in a car accident is required to stop and remain at the scene of the accident until he has provided certain information and rendered aid to any person who may have been injured in the accident. NRS 484E.010. If the accident resulted in bodily injury or death, a driver’s failure to comply with these statutory requirements is a felony.
The Nevada Supreme Court recently had the opportunity to review this hit-and-run law in Clancy v. Nevada. In that case, Barry Robinson was operating his motorcycle on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas when an SUV merged in front of him and struck the front of his motorcycle. The contact caused Robinson to lose control of the motorcycle, and he and his passenger fell off and were injured. The motorcycle hit the center divider, skidded across the freeway, and stopped in the emergency lane. A witness traveling in front of Robinson observed the SUV hit the motorcycle and then accelerate, and saw the driver of the SUV looking in his rearview mirror and over his shoulder at the crash behind him. The SUV then exited the freeway at the next exit but did not stop.
The witness called 911 and reported the accident, and provided the 911 operator with the license plate of the SUV. The SUV belonged to Benjamin Clancy, who was also later identified as the driver of the SUV at the time of the accident. Clancy denied having any knowledge that an accident occurred.
Clancy was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. At trial, he offered expert testimony through an accident reconstruction specialist who opined that, based on the reasonably minimal damage to and markings on the rear of Clancy’s SUV, there was no evidence of a collision between the SUV and Robinson’s motorcycle. The Nevada jury returned a guilty verdict convicting Clancy of the felony.