Hit-and-run crashes on the rise in FloridaJuly 4th 2017
The South Florida tally of hit-and-run crashes increased by two on Sunday, adding to a statewide number that has steadily risen over the last five years.
A woman was hit and killed while crossing Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach early Sunday. And about 10 hours later a man died in Davie when he was hit crossing State Road 7.
In both instances drivers fled the scene.
“I know hit-and-runs continue to be a problem,” said Sgt. Mark Wysocky, spokesman for Florida Highway Patrol. “Unfortunately they continue to go up from previous years.”
The number of hit-and-runs in the state — including and not including pedestrians — have risen steadily from about 72,000 in 2012 to 99,000 in 2016.
It’s too soon, Wysocky said, to tell if a Stay At The Scene campaign launched in February to encourage drivers to remain at crash locations has had an effect.
The white Hyundai Genesis that fled after hitting and killing Naborina Palacios, 51, about 2:12 a.m. in Boynton Beach was later found in a parking garage near Renaissance Commons, police said.
Palacios was killed in the crosswalk at the intersection of North Congress Avenue and West Gateway Boulevard. She was struck when the traffic signal turned from red to green as she walked east across Congress, police said.
In Davie, police continue to search for a red car that may have been involved in the crash that killed Alfonso Velasquez Ordonez on State Road 7 near Griffin Road.
That fatal accident happened about 11:55 p.m. when Ordonez and another man made it halfway across the road to the median. Ordonez then stepped off and was clipped by a passing vehicle that kept going.
In many instances the drivers are not at fault and may face little or no penalty if they stay at the scene, authorities said.
There are a variety of reasons drivers flee, Wysocky said. Sometimes they’re impaired, sometimes they are driving with suspended licenses or have no insurance, he said.
Hit-and-run accidents were one quarter of all crashes in the state last year.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, of those 99,004 hit-and-runs:
In Broward 14 people died and 119 were injured in nearly 12,000 hit-and-runs.
Palm Beach County recorded 12 deaths and 102 injuries among its 7,694 hit-and-run cases.
Miami-Dade saw 20 deaths and 141 injuries in more than 19,000 hit-and-runs.
Although the total number of hit-and-run accidents have steadily risen since 2012, the number of fatalities have fluctuated up and down, Wysocky said.
In 2012, there were 160 hit-and-run fatalities in the state. That number fell to 149 in 2013 and then jumped to 184 in 2014. In 2015, the number of fatalities bumped up to 186 and then fell to 179 in 2016.
Original Story Published by Sun Sentinel on June 27, 2017
Hit-and-run crashes on the rise in Florida