Man Charged in Western Connecticut State University Hit and Run Accident

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624555_45364746_02242012.jpgPolice in Danbury, Connecticut announced the arrest of 22 year-old Eugene Robinson in connection with the November 2011 hit-and-run death of Dong Lin. Lin, a non-matriculated student at Western Connecticut State University, died on November 22 after a car hit him as he crossed the street. We previously remarked on this case in this Connecticut Injury Attorney Blog in November. Robinson, who is also a student at WCSU, reportedly turned himself in on Friday, January 27, when he learned that police had issued a warrant for his arrest. His attorney says that he has cooperated with police throughout the investigation, and that he notified authorities of his involvement in the accident two days after it occurred.

Robinson faces a charge of evading responsibility because he allegedly fled the scene of the accident after his vehicle allegedly struck Lin. “Evading responsibility” is defined by Connecticut law, in part, as failing to stop and render assistance when one had knowingly been involved in an accident that involves serious injury to, or the death of, another person. The statute requires a person to provide needed assistance and to provide identifying information to a witness or to law enforcement. The statute prescribes a penalty of one to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or a combination thereof.

Robinson entered a plea of not guilty in Danbury Superior Court on February 16. He must report back to court on March 7. After his arrest, the court freed him on $10,000 bail.

The accident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2011. Lin was crossing White Street when a car, described a by witnesses as dark-colored and “boxy,” hit him. Lin was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital later in the day. Witnesses said that the car did not appear to be speeding. Authorities have given no indication that alcohol played any role in the accident at all. According to Robinson’s attorney, he did not have time to react when Lin stepped into the street. He says Robinson drove away because he “panicked.”

Witnesses have also suggested that Lin was distracted when he tried to cross White Street, The spot where he stepped into the street is reportedly two hundred feet from the nearest crosswalk. Investigators have also suggested that Lin might have been texting shortly before he was hit. He was apparently sending a text message to a friend at the time of the accident.