High number of drivers ‘leaving the scene' persists in Austin

With a growing population and more traffic on the roads, Austin is creating more opportunities for crashes to happen. Some of those crashes though, are more vicious than others.

“In 2016, there were about 9,700 leaving the scene collisions, this year it's about 8500. We are down a little bit, but still a very large number,” said Detective Frank Wilson, with the Austin Police Department.

Of those thousands of crashes, police say they've only arrested a little over 200 people.

“Part of the reason is because it depends on the nature: like if someone's in traffic or if they don't get an opportunity to see the person, or if the suspect driver takes off,” said Wilson.

Leaving the scene usually only involves some property damage. But suspects are charged with failure to render aid , if a person is injured. Many of these crashes are like that, and in that case, that's a much more serious hit and run

“If you're intoxicated, if you're on drugs, if you have a warrant and if you know when police arrive it's going to present a bigger problem for you, it may be easier for that person to elect to leave,” said Wilson.

Although police report a drop of 1,200 cases like these, simply one, is too many. Just since July, there have been at least 16 arrests for arrests to stop and render aid. Hit and Just Tuesday, there was another hit-and-run on Parkfield Drive near Rundberg Lane.

“EMS, fire and police arrived on scene to find a deceased female in the roadway, they rendered treatment to her but she did pass away at the scene,” said Officer William Costello, Austin Police Department, on Tuesday.

That suspect drove off that afternoon. APD hopes to see the numbers of hit and runs decline in the coming years. If you see a hit and run or are involved in one, officers hope you can help them out.

“License plate is one of the biggest things because even if you see the person's face but you don't get the license, we need that starting point for the investigation,” said Wilson.

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