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Why the site and how can you help?

This a privately run site and does not accept monetary donations. However, there are ways you can assist, if you desire. Then again, much like the 10 o'clock news, you can hit the delete button and pretend there is no real problem. It's your choice.

But first, let me tell you why I built this site, so you understand where I am coming from. In 1990, I took a position with the Florida Highway Patrol in Orlando, Florida. My job was a dispatcher, with the title of Duty Officer. The first few months were for training and it would be the last time over the next two years that I would work a day shift. That day, my shift began at 4 am, which meant a 4 mile morning ride on quiet Orlando streets that would soon be bumper to bumper. One of the roads I took to headquarters was a dimly lit two lane residential street, that ran parallel to the expressway. As I was driving to work that particular morning,  (September 9th, 2000) I noticed something ahead partially blocking the street. I slowed, figuring it was a trash bag, and as I swerved around it, I recognized the unmistakable outline of a human laying partially on the shoulder, their head on the pavement. I stopped the car, and hurriedly ran back to see if I could give aid but could tell immediately that was not possible. A van with 2 young ladies heading downtown to buy concert tickets was following behind me and also stopped. I asked them if they had a cell phone and to contact 911 and report that someone had been hit. Overhead, the Orange County Sheriff's Dept helicopter appeared and sirens from all directions soon broke the silence. It is not necessary to describe what I saw, except to saw one poor ambulance attendant lost her breakfast soon after she arrived.

I can not describe what I felt. I remember screaming "no" in my mind when I first realized it was a person. I was simply appalled that someone would hit this lady and drive off to leave her to die on the cold pavement. I blamed the whole incident on the state and started a web site to help deal with the situation. I became obsessed with hit and run accidents and as a dispatcher would spend hours assisting troopers trying to identify a partial license plate from their cases. Over time the website became too much to handle, and eventually I resigned my position with the FHP and moved back home to the southwest Missouri countryside, where I just knew people had a greater respect for life than to hit and run. I took a position back in the business world, where people worked normal hours, and closed the hit and run section of my website, leaving those violent memories back in Florida, where they belonged.

Then, in May of 2004, my fantasy of an innocent Missouri was shattered by a Springfield hit and run that killed a young man, and then 3 days later, a young man fled the scene of a one car accident that killed his friend. It dawned on me that hit and run is truly a national, and worldwide problem. This site is dedicated to the lady that I had the misfortune of finding so long ago, and to all the victims and families who have suffered from this hideous crime. It's purpose is to make people aware of the problem, to help victim families know their loved one is not forgotten, to help get stronger laws in place, and to maybe someday, help get one of these predators off the road.


To keep silent when we should protest, makes cowards of men. - Abraham Lincoln


How can you help this site?

Internet research - It takes a lot of time to run down stories about hit and run fatalities on the internet and if you would like to help, I can use all the help I can get. Be warned though - and I mean this seriously - this type of research will break your heart. Some of the stories are difficult to bear.

Reward Fund - Eventually I would like to offer a site reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit and run drivers. Tragically, most of the families that will suffer a loss can not afford to offer a reward. And rewards have and will work. Larger cities sometimes will have Crimestopper programs that can offer a minimal reward for information, and sometimes families and friends will round up some reward money. But in the vast majority of the hit and run cases, there simply is not the funds available to the family to make such an offer. If a person or group would like to underwrite an anonymous amount that could be offered on this site for "any" hit and run fatality, I would be interested in discussing how best to do this. (If you have a particular victim that you would like to offer a reward for, please contact the family, or a lawyer if you would like to remain anonymous, for how to best conduct this in your area. If you wish to make an anonymous gift in the name of a particular victim and don't know how to help, I might suggest your local Crimestopper program is a very effective way of helping stop crime) Here is Motivation!

Support Group

Projects

> List all state hit and run, leaving the scene, and hit-skip laws
> Form allowing anonymous tips to be sent on site
> Contact insurance companies to donate photo's of vehicle versus pedestrian damage to assist auto body mechanics and general public to recognize suspect vehicles
> Establish underwritten reward offered for tip leading to arrest and conviction of hit and run driver in fatality crash - if successful, possibly expand to injury crashes (Read why)
>Organize a non profit organization named SHARK

This web site is in its infancy and I am open to suggestions and feedback, whether positive or negative.


From my original site in 2000

Deadly Indifference?

In Florida, any individual involved in a vehicle accident that causes bodily injury or death, to another party, is guilty of a second degree felony if they flee the scene. Also in Florida, any person responsible of causing the death of someone in an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol is also guilty of a second degree felony. Each carry a maximum penalty of 15 years. But judges do not treat the cases equally. Using a 10 point system, published under the Florida Statutes, the first offense is rated a 6 in severity…. ranked right with cloning cell phones. DUI manslaughter, on the other hand, ranks a 8, along with sexual battery and other crimes, and automatic prison time. A 6 carries no requirement for prison time for the offender.


With these facts in mind, if you were driving over the legal limit of .08, and killed someone in your vehicle, would you stop? Many don’t and the numbers of dead and injured they leave each week in Florida would shock most people. Probably more shocking is the increasing number of dead pedestrian’s left at the side of Florida road’s, victim’s of hit and run driver’s.


As a duty officer with the Florida Highway Patrol, I hear about many of the cases the general public never does. And on the morning of September 9th, 2000 on my way to work in the waning hours of darkness, I came upon one of these tragic victim’s myself. There laying with her head in the roadway, was the deceased body of a 39 year old woman, struck by a hit and run driver sometime earlier…. and just left. Having come from a rural southwest Missouri town where driver’s still pull to the side of the road when a funeral procession passed, this absolute indifference for human life shocked me. Although regretfully, it really shouldn’t in Orlando.


Ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the US to walk, Orlando has more than its share of hit and run victim’s. Two years ago, the city made national news when a young Hispanic male on a bicycle was struck on a bridge and his body thrown to the Turnpike below. There he was run over by six more vehicles…. only one who cared enough to stop. Two weeks prior to my horrific discovery, the body of a young lady was found on 33rd Street by a Orlando utilities driver. She, killed by a hit and run driver, had laid on the side of the road for nearly eight hours before someone stopped. To add to the tragedy here, this lady was identified but was homeless, and no one can determine her next of kin.


It happens nearly every day in our city and five county coverage area…. with staggering numbers similar throughout the state. Whether drunk, driving with no license, or just pure indifference, innocent lives are lost each week in Florida to hit and run driver’s. While obviously our society, as a whole, seems to put less significance on the value of human life than it used to, it is a shame that the media does not put more emphasis on this tragic aspect. I applaud the Tampa Tribune and Newschannel 8 in Tampa for a series they did in 1999 that brought specific attention to this problem. Not only did they tell the stories of what happened, but they introduced the general public to the lives it touched. It forced us out of our ignorance and told the stories of the victim’s and how it affected people, just like us. It made us shudder to think it could have been us…. or our children, our spouse, or our parents. You can find their coverage here.


The victim that I found in the roadway had her face turned away from the headlights. I guess for some it was easy to drive by and pretend she wasn't there. But when you put a face to such a tragedy …. you begin to turn a body into a person. It wasn’t my mother laying there. It wasn’t my sister, or even my daughter. But it was someone’s. The media never carried the story of the lady I found. The obituary told of the loss…. but the story of who she was rests with the family. And the story of the tragedy rests with a hit and run driver who is still out there, driving, somewhere.


Others who have come upon hit and run victims have been compelled to do something. Here is a story from Australia.

Monday January 30, 05:47 PM
Walk to raise funds for brain injury victims

A woman affected by the death of Canberra woman Clea Rose in a hit-and-run accident last year will raise funds for brain injury victims.

Amy Banson, 22, comforted Ms Rose at the scene until medical help arrived.

She says the experience prompted her to organise an eight-week fund raising walk to Brisbane.

"It has a healing component to the walk as well for myself, for Clea's family and friends and for a lot of other people, thousands of other people who are affected by accidents," she said.

© 2006 ABC


One other thing - to save anymore of you lawyers from making the same mistake as one of your colleagues - this web site is dedicated to victims of hit and run accidents - not hit and run drivers. Therefore, henceforth, and whateverforth that makes it easy for you to understand - this site will NEVER allow advertisements for those attorneys who defend these snakes. So if you want to peddle your services to these killers, find someplace else to pollute.


Fatal Hit and Run Accidents
Deadly Roads

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