Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hit and Run Ends the Dream of American Idol Aspirant

The popular talent show American Idol is all about chasing a dream and living it. But for Alexis Cohen, 25, a former AI contestant, the dream ended when she lost her life in a tragic hit and run accident.

Alexis, who was dubbed “Glitter Girl” and who got rejected twice by AI’s tough judges was planning a third attempt at singing stardom in June. But Cohen who went out to eat was later found by two pedestrians who called 911. The autopsy revealed that she suffered head, chest and abdominal injuries after being struck by a car.

According to, a 23-year-old man named Daniel Bark has since been charged with death by reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident following Cohen’s death. Authorities also suspected that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

In many car accidents involving pedestrians, drivers have been known to flee the scene of the accident. Some would claim that it was instinct and some would say that they are afraid but truly, these drivers also fail to take into consideration that their actions could spell the loss of a person’s life that could have otherwise been saved.

Most State laws provide that drivers have the duty to stop in case of an accident, regardless of whether the crash involved another car, another person’s property and even a pedestrian.

In any accident resulting to injuries or death, drivers have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to help any injured person -- including calling for assistance from emergency medical services -- and to report the accident to local law enforcement.

Leaving the scene of the accident, especially when a person is injured or may require medical intervention is a crime. Any driver who leaves the scene of an accident can be subject to serious criminal charges such as "felony hit and run."

Bark, who killed Cohen in a hit and run accident could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Running after an accident and citing panic and fear is not an excuse. Drivers do not have just the duty to “save” themselves—they have the same duty to everyone else on the road especially pedestrians and cars they may hit.

For Cohen, who once memorably said that she marches to the beat of a different drummer would no longer have the chance to make her dreams come true because of a hit and run accident and a driver who refused to care.