Novak - Hit and Almost-Run

Robert Novak, driving in his shiny black convertible corvette, hit an 86 year old homeless pedestrian yesterday on 18th & K Street in Washington DC as Novak was heading in to work. But Novak didn't stop...he kept right on going until a witness on a bicycle stopped him. Novak claims he didn't know he hit anyone and was cited for "Failure to Yield".

Sure. Why does it smell like woo to me? Upon being hit, the pedestrian is knocked onto the hood of the car, rolls up along the windshield, and back down onto the hood before falling to the ground, dislocating his shoulder. The pedestrian, Don Clifford Liljenquist, thinks it's possible Novak didn't know he hit anyone. From the Washington Post,
"Yeah, it's possible that he didn't know he hit me," Liljenquist said. "The vehicle was moving at 10 miles per hour or something like that, and the driver might not have seen me, because I rolled off and fell down to the pavement. So, yeah, it's possible that he didn't see me. He wasn't paying attention to his driving."

What? Was Novak so wrapped up in the latest Miley Cyrus album that he didn't know he ran someone over?? David Bono was the bicyclist who stopped Novak:
Bono and others said in interviews that they think Novak was attempting to flee the scene before Bono stopped him, but Novak said he did not know he had hit a pedestrian until Bono told him.

So Novak is 77. He's reaching that age where one day he'll mistake the accelerator for the brake and plow right through the Washington Post offices.


Cleanser said...

Y'know, it'd be possible -- very unlikely, but possible -- to not see the pedestrian get hit and fall down, depending on the angle of impact and all that. At low speed, the pedestrian is more likely to bounce off than roll up onto the hood.

BUT. Even if you're not looking at the hood of your car during part of your drive, even if the pedestrian bounced off in such a way that he wouldn't be visible -- how do you not notice "thunk bump crash" noises which are produced when somebody or something impacts your vehicle? Even if you thought it was just a rock or a bump in the road, a driver should be looking around to see (1) what hit him or (2) what he ran over, and then proceed to say, "OH SHIT, did I hit that guy who's lying in the street behind me?!?"

The level of oblivious is scary.

The skepTick said...

Yup...I think it probably happened very quickly, perhaps a glancing blow, and maybe it wasn't a "full on" roll onto the hood and windshield. But even so, he must have heard the noise unless he had NPR cranked up too loud. It seems more plausible that he realized what he did after the fact but didn't quite know how to handle the situation and so kept on driving.

I'm neither judge nor jury, but I do know that an expired registration costs 3 times as much as hitting a pedestrian in DC!