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!
> List all state hit and run, leaving the scene, and hit-skip laws
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
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.
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
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