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There's a concept in the law called "felony murder," where if you kill someone in the process of committing a felony you can be charged with murder. Drunk driving can be a felony.

There are multiple aggravating factors
1. Unlicensed driver is a BIG deal.
2. Hitting, then driving over the victim
3. Leaving the scene.
4. Drinking and drugs.

If you leave the scene, it can be inferred that you were drunk or high or otherwise doing something wrong. The "I didn't realize it" defense cannot work if two of your PASSENGERS are witnesses.

Can the passengers be charged with anything, e.g., accessory? If not, how will the prosecutor get them to testify against the driver?

If they obstruct the investigation, that's a crime. Also, some people might testify against their friend if they just watched them murder someone. Wouldn't you?

Why were the passenger/witnesses still at the crash location after the car drove away? Did they get out of the car? Come back? It's very odd.

Failing to be helpful is not obstruction. But, they have lots of other reasons to be helpful.

The passengers appear to have conflicting stories. A prosecutor can do the following
1. Assert that THEY were the one who was really driving. This will force them to prove that they were not driving, which requires them to finger the driver.
2. If a passenger owns the car, he can be liable for giving the keys to the driver
3. You can argue that the passengers encouraged the driver to break the law, or did not stop her from driving despite being drunk, no licence, etc. This works as a threat, but I believe is harder to prosecute.

In short, they are witnesses to a homicide, and possibly participants. Failure to be helpful to the police could result in them being caught up in the messy business. You can see why they would want to be as helpful as possible.

I flatter myself I would, but I have a more or less full set of bourgeois values. A glance at the newspaper teaches us that not everyone does, especially those whose friends drive unlicensed in an extreme state of intoxication and commit hit and run. I agree there must be more to the story.

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