Law Enforcement Continue To Investigate Hit-And-Runs

Hit and run accidents, they're tough to investigate but authorities

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Columbia Police continue to investigate Thursday's hit-and-run that left one woman badly injured.

Kaylen Harris suffered a shattered elbow and a broken foot when a car struck her, as she was crossing the street, and then left the scene.

"As a trooper, it's disheartening when we go to these scenes where someone was hurt or killed, and the party at fault, or maybe the party not at fault, left the scene," said Highway Patrol Corporal David Jones.

According to the Highway Patrol, there have been more than 900 hit-and-runs involving pedestrians in the state in the last five years. Of those accidents, 69 people were killed and 929 people were injured.

There are a number of hit-and-runs that are still under investigation, including a nurse who was severely injured after she was hit by a car near Palmetto Health Richland and a 48-year-old man who was killed when he tried to cross Highway 1 in Lexington, both in 2012.

"We are going to actively search for those people that leave the scene and it's something we aren't going to forget about," said Jones.

Corporal Jones said with today's technology, there's surveillance footage and witnesses who captured the hit-and-run on camera. But he said there are other cases that are more difficult to solve.

"When there's a pedestrian involved, there may not be evidence left than if it was another vehicle involved," said Jones.

But Jones said that does not mean it's easier to escape the crime.

"If you're an operator and you see something, or you leave the scene, we will do everything in our power to track you down," said Jones.

If a vehicle strikes a person crossing the street, the pedestrian may be at fault. But once a vehicle leaves the scene without stopping to render aid, the charge could be enhanced. Charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

If you have any information regarding hit-and-runs, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-Crime-SC.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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