Crossing the Double Yellow!! Photo: ThomasShanahan (Getty)
I’m going to share a piece of advice with you that I hope and pray you already know: if you hit some one, intentional or not, double-check their well-being before leaving. Unfortunately common sense doesn’t appear to be common any longer. Case in point? A Boston man admitted on-camera to a TV crew this week he hit a pedestrian with his car and left him for dead. His name? Phocian Fitts. His excuse? “People hit-and-run people all the time.”
Unfortunately, we’re not kidding. This is not The Onion. This is real life. The 23-year-old hit an 80-year-old man at a cross-walk with his jeep, hard enough to send him through the air 20-feet. He was pronounced dead later at the hospital. Could he have survived if Fitts stopped to help? We’ll never know.
“Accidents happen,” Fitts said.
Fitts, who is an Uber driver, said he was on his way to pick up a rider, and wasn’t drinking or on drugs at the time, but did admit he was driving too quick. By his reasoning, he had a green light and honked his horn several times. It was either hit the pedestrian or crash his car into a pole. I guess he chose to hit the man?
Fitts admitted that he was “scared” and “worried.” Of course, seconds later, he tacked on, “it is what it is.”
So why wasn’t Fitts arrested right away? Police had questioned him but said they didn’t have enough information to charge him. Funny, because Fitts had no problem talking to reporters.
Minutes after his TV interview aired, admitting to the hit-and-run, he was finally brought in:
In court Thursday morning, Fitts was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death and motor vehicle manslaughter.
Fitts’ confession to Boston 25 News was mentioned in court as evidence.
Court paperwork identified the victim as a man who lived in the South End named Theodore Schwalb.
Fitts is already on federal probation for assaulting a mailman in 2014, according to court documents.
Police said they identified him as a suspect using dash cam footage from another driver.
Here’s the story that aired on local Boston TV from the perspective of a local viewer:
I guess the only good to come out of this is that there will be justice for Mr. Schwalb, even if due to the self-stupidity of his unintentional killer. That being said, men, be better. And, parents, parent better.
Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.