Dallas police continue to investigate a mid-August deadly hit-and-run accident near DuPont Drive in Oak Cliff. According to the accident report, shortly before 10:30 pm on August 11 officers found a body in the eastbound lanes of Ledbetter Drive. Investigators on the scene determined the victim had been struck by not one, but two vehicles, neither of which stopped. The victim, a pedestrian who was crossing the eastbound lanes of Ledbetter Drive, had not been released yet. The Dallas PD are asking for the public’s assistance in tracking down the vehicles involved in this fatal hit-and-run.
Unfortunately, accidents like this one are not uncommon in the Dallas area. In fact, hit-and-run fatalities are on the rise in North Texas, even though lawmakers have been making an effort to prevent these types of accidents from taking place. Since 2012, hit-and-run deaths have increased by 85 percent over the last six years. This is the case, despite the fact that Texas lawmakers passed a bill in 2013 increasing the criminality of those found guilty of leaving the scene of a deadly accident. If found guilty, these individuals will now be charged with a second-degree felony instead of a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a fatal hit-and-run accident in Texas is now 20 years, compared to the previous five-year penalty. Although lawmakers are doing their best to prevent accidents like the Oak Cliff incident from taking place, reports indicate it has made little to no impact.
Texas Ranks in Top Ten for Most Hit-and-Run Deaths
According to research by the AAA Foundation, there is a rise in hit-and-run accidents in the United States, with Texas being ranked 8th in the country for the most fatalities. The report shows that, since 2006, an average of 682,000 crashes occur every year and a shocking 65 percent of those killed in hit-and-run accidents are either pedestrians or bicyclists. In Texas alone, there was a 30 percent increase in fatal hit-and-run accidents from 2015 to 2016.
There are numerous factors that may contribute to Texas’ high number of hit-and-run accidents, including the fact that Texas has one of the highest number of DWI arrests in the nation. In many cases, those guilty of a hit-and-run accident are found to be intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Another contributing factor to the Lone Star state’s hit-and-run accidents is the number of uninsured drivers, which causes people to flee the scene in order to avoid prosecution.
As Dallas hit-and-run accident attorneys, we have represented numerous victims of these types of crimes. Leaving the scene of the accident is not only against the law but morally wrong, especially if another person has been injured or killed. If you are in need of a lawyer following a car accident, or if you lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident and are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, please contact Shamieh Law today and schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.