Hoyt St. Hit-and-run driver settles with family

The Darien Times

Written by Susan Shultz
Friday, June 10, 2011 10:07 AM

The Darien teenager who was injured in a hit-and-run accident last year on Hoyt Street has made a full recovery, and recently received financial compensation from the driver for his injuries.

“Jacob has recovered from his injuries, and he is back in school and enjoying a full sports schedule — the whole nine yards,” said Craig Yankwitt of Silver, Golub & Teitel, Jacob Eekhofs’ family lawyer.

“Mr. Plepis was apologetic and remorseful for his actions. Both he and his lawyer, Mark Sherman did everything they could to make sure that Jacob was fully compensated for his injuries in a timely and appropriate manner,” Yankwitt said.

Yankwitt said he could not reveal the details of the recent financial payment received and said no lawsuit against Plepis was ever filed.

Jacob was 15 when he suffered traumatic head and back injuries when Paul Plepis, 90, of Stamford, hit the teenager with his car on Hoyt Street in February 2010.

On Feb. 27, 2010, Jacob was hit while walking down Hoyt Street by St. Johns Cemetery by a Toyota Camry. He was walking on the northbound side of the road where there are no sidewalks. The car was seen heading toward New Canaan.

The road was closed for several hours for the investigation and police sought information and witnesses after the car left the scene.

Plepis left the scene without realizing he’d hit someone.

Plepis was charged with evading responsibility, which is a felony when involving a serious injury. While Plepis has expressed remorse for the accident, he pleaded not guilty as a “formality,” according to his attorney, Mark Sherman.

He turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest by Darien Police. Plepis of Apple Tree Lane, Stamford, has “been extremely cooperative,” police said at the time.

The Darien Police Department has also confirmed Plepis suffers from macular degeneration, a condition of the eyes that is age-related.

It was only after reading an article about the accident, that Plepis says he realized he was the driver of the silver Toyota Camry that sent the boy to the hospital with severe head injuries. Plepis is so upset about the accident, Sherman said, that he wrote a letter to the Eekhof family apologizing. At the time, Yankwitt said that the Eekhof family recognized that “such apologies are not common” and appreciated it.

Plepis is a former Stamford Public Schools teacher and veteran.

“It is rare for a defendant to accept responsibility and ensure a victim is appropriately compensated without dragging the victim through a protracted lawsuit. This was very helpful and meaningful to the family,” Yankwitt said.

Mark Sherman said his client is “elated” that Jacob has fully recovered.

“While the case is still pending in court, we’re hopeful the court will look favorably upon Paul’s case in light of this new information,” he said.

Sherman said the next court date was yet to be determined.

Neighbors on Hoyt Street in the area of the Talmadge Hill train station have actively been campaigning the town for sidewalks on Hoyt.

In September, Jacob’s mother Robin said she supported the sidewalk initiative on Hoyt to make the road safer for pedestrians.