Hit-and-run deaths hit record high, new research shows - KCTV5 News

Hit-and-run deaths hit record high, new research shows

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Most victims in fatal hit-and-runs are pedestrians and cyclists. (KCTV5) Most victims in fatal hit-and-runs are pedestrians and cyclists. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

New research shows more than one hit-and-run occurs every minute in America.

It’s happening even though each state – including Missouri and Kansas – have laws making it illegal to leave a crash.

Yolanda Green-Samuel lost her older brother in a hit-and-run crash four years ago.

"He was an amazing cook. He was at home when he was in the kitchen," she said. "I dropped to the floor. I just started crying. It was just something you would never ever want to hear."

The 58-year-old father of five was riding his bike when a driver going 60-80 miles an hour hit him.

Most victims in fatal hit-and-runs are pedestrians and cyclists.

"They could have stayed on scene," Green-Samuel said.

Some 682,000 hit-and-run crashes happen in the United States each year. That’s from a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Hit-and-run crashes led to 2,049 deaths in 2016. It was the highest number recorded and a 60-percent increase since 2009.

Green-Samuel launched a campaign to put an end to the crime. She says preventing distracted and impaired driving is key.

"If an accident never occurred, then we wouldn't have to deal with someone leaving the scene of an accident," she said.

She believes drivers should be required to sign a pledge when they get their license and when they buy a car, saying they won’t hit-and-run.

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