We blogged previously about a hit-and-run auto accident on Interstate 80 that claimed the life of 26 year old passenger Jason Palmer. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the man at large for this crime that happened on April 1 in Parleys Canyon, near 2400 East, is now in police custody. 35-year-old, John Featherstone Bishop was allegedly drunk around 8:45pm on April 1 when he rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz SUV and rolled his car. Witnesses say Bishop was traveling at speeds close to 100 mph, even though he was in a construction zone that posted a speed limit of 55 mph.
The auto accident injured the man and woman in the Mercedes SUV and four of the five passengers in his vehicle. The fifth person, Jason Palmer was killed when he was thrown from the back seat of Bishop’s white BMW.
Bishop ran from the scene and sought care at a nearby Intermountain Medical Center where he claimed that he was hurt in an assault. His blood alcohol level was .13 at the hospital.
Bishop was booked into Salt Lake County jail on April 14. He now faces several charges: a second-degree felony for automobile homicide, four third-degree felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury, two class A misdemeanors for driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, one class A misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, one class B misdemeanor count of reckless driving and a class B misdemeanor count for violating his terms as an alcohol-restricted driver. He could face from1 to 15 years in jail.
This is great news to catch the man responsible for this hit-and-run accident. We congratulate law enforcement agencies that worked to find the man responsible. He faces numerous charges but we know this can not begin to compensate for the loss of Jason Palmer. We offer our since condolences for friends and family of Mr. Palmer.
From a legal standpoint, catching the assailant is a step in the right direction. Mr. Palmer’s family can seek a “wrongful death” claim against Bishop’s insurance or Bishop directly. The other individuals, both in Bishop’s car, and the man and woman in the Mercedes, can also make a claim against Bishop’s insurance. I suspect that under the circumstances, there will not be enough insurance coverage of Mr. Bishop’s policy. We recommend all those injured seek an experienced Utah personal injury attorney that can help them through this process.
Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.