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San Francisco Lawyer Charged in Hit-and-Run Accident

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco.

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawyers aren’t shady, but there are a selected few who give them a bad name. Since lawyers are supposed to be well-versed in law terms, you would think that they would know how to conduct themselves in trying situations. Spencer Freeman Smith, an attorney for a San Francisco law firm, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, June 27 to a felony of a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Smith, a 33-year old man from San Ramon, was arrested in May for hitting Bo Hu and driving away at the scene of the crime. Bo Hu, a man from China, was either walking or riding his bike when Smith struck him. Hu was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident had taken place on Dougherty Road at around 11:30 p.m.

The 57-year old victim had suffered from a wrongful death. His family must be morning their loss. Families of wrongful death victims sometimes have a hard time understanding why these types of unnecessary accidents happen. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, know that you have some legal options you can take. A preventable accident should have never happened to you and you must allow for justice to come through.

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unluckily for Smith, he did not specialize in car accidents and personal injury. Spencer Freeman Smith was an employment litigator and handled cases involving wage disputes, sexual harassment, whistle-blowers, wrongful termination, and discrimination. He worked for Financial District law firm, Smith Patten.

Not being careful and hitting a pedestrian is already bad enough, but to fatally hit them and then run away is even worse. Any good Samaritan would have at least stopped and stayed at the scene of the crime. Instead, Smith ran and left fallen car parts on the road. These forgotten car parts helped investigators link the crime to the person.

Records showed that Smith had recently bought a black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550—the same car that matched the parts left on the road. And when officials searched Smith’s home, they found a Mercedes-Benz in his garage. There were major damages on the car which indicated that Smith had been involved in some kind of accident. The damages were on the windshield and front end of his car. The missing car parts on his car matched the car parts found on the road.

There were video surveillance recordings and cell phone records that indicated Smith was present at the scene of the crash. It was also confirmed that he was the one driving. Smith was also contacted two days after the crash by police officers, prompting Smith to immediately state that he was involved in a car accident.

Currently, Smith is free on a $60,000 bail. He is due back in court on August 8.

Since Smith was a lawyer, you would automatically assume that he would do the right thing when the accident occurred. However, he did not and is now facing the consequences of his actions. If you have lost somebody to a wrongful death accident, do not hesitate to speak with a San Francisco car accident lawyer and start fighting for your rights today.