Hit-and-Run Incidents on the Rise in South Carolina

Hit and run incidents are on the rise in the Midlands

(Columbia, SC -- WLTX) In June of 2013, Dustin McDonald was headed home for dinner on his moped. The next thing he knew, he was waking up in a hospital bed two months later. He was the victim of a hit and run.

"I was only 20 years old and I was putting my life together. I got a good career doing HVAC and it was all taken away from me," said McDonald. "I used to be able to play guitar very well, I used to be able to skateboard, I can't do any of that anymore. If I take a hard enough hit to the head, I'm dead."

Three years later, McDonald suffers from physical and mental scars caused by a driver that still hasn't been caught.

Trooper David Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol says these scenarios aren't uncommon, but the consequences aren't worth the risk.

"Even if you have underlying problems, maybe a suspended license or maybe you don't have insurance, it's easier to face those penalties with a traffic citation up front rather than attempt to leave the scene, get caught and go to jail," said Jones.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports a 15.3% increase in hit-and-runs from 2014 to 2015.
McDonald says he's not surprised by the increase and has let go of his anger towards the driver.

"Karma," said McDonald. "Karma will get him."

Trooper Jones says if you are involved in an accident, take a picture of the other vehicle and pull over to a well-lit area so cameras can better capture the scene.

"If you're presented the option to do the right thing to call us or to flee, just know that we're going to use every resource possible to make sure that you're caught and incarcerated," said Jones.

If you have any information on McDonald's case or any of the recent hit-and-runs from around the midlands, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1(888)Crime-SC.


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