Following rise in fatal hit-and-run crashes, Florida launching new ‘Stay at the Scene’ initiative
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says hit-and-run fatalities increased by over 18% across the state despite an overall decrease of 13% in hit-and-run crashes in 2020.
Tallahassee was home to four hit-and-run crashes last year, three of which were fatal. They take a lot of time, resources and police work to catch those responsible.
On January 6, 2020, 26-year-old Jeremiah Bruce was walking in the roadway on North Monroe Street before getting hit. He was left on life support for eight days before passing.
It took three months for investigators to track the alleged drive down, 22-year-old Ryan Smith-Mosley.
November 8, 2020, on North Monroe, a vehicle veered off the roadway and struck and killed a pedestrian.
31-year-old Dacey Grice was arrested for vehicular homicide nine days later.
Also on November 8, on the opposite side of town in Killearn Lakes, a 15-year-old girl was left critically injured.
“To hit somebody with a car and then be perfectly okay with driving away from that scene, they must have been pretty strong: Mentally, not physically,” said Rose Beidel, the girl who was hit.
Investigators are still searching for the driver.
November 17, 2020, 22-year-old Florida State University student Blake Bennett was riding his scooter on West Pensacola Street when he was struck and killed.
The alleged driver, 27-year-old Ryan Walters, was turned in by his roommate days later.
A new state-run ‘Stay at the Scene’ campaign is hoping to solve open cases and reduce the rate of them happening.
83% of deadly hit-and-runs in Florida last year reportedly happened at night or during low-light hours.
Out of 254 fatal hit-and-runs last year, 137 were pedestrians and 25 were bicyclists.
To read more about the Stay at the Scene campaign, click here.
FLHSMV also has a page dedicated to open hit-and-run cases. You can visit that page by clicking here.
Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.