Last month, the Florida Highway Patrol’s (FHP) Orlando office hosted
an event for a new statewide awareness campaign about the dangers of hit-and-run
collisions. Families of hit-and-run victims were invited to share their
stories, shining light to the dangers of this type of car accident.
The campaign was created a few days after two teenagers were injured in
a hit-and-run crash in eastern Orange County. One of the teens, Jocelyn
Diehl, 14, suffered serious injuries. The man accused in the incident,
Travis Rhys Johnson, 19, was caught more than an hour later after allegedly
running from a stolen car.
According to the FHP, State Troopers investigated 31 hit-and-run collisions
in Central Florida, 21 of which were in Orange County – which led
the state last year with the most hit-and-run deaths. In regards to the
entire state, hit-and-run crashes increased to more than 99,000, which
is up from 92,623 last year.
One of the family member of a hit-and-run victim, named Kim Wiggins, shared
the story of her husband who was run over by three cars last year –
two of which fled the scene and still have yet to be caught. Rasheed Wiggins
was in a median near Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway about
11:30 PM on April 16th when he was struck and flung into the road, only to be struck two more times.
Since then, Kim has been an advocate for change, urging state legislators
to draft a bill which would expand Florida’s notification system
to spread hit-and-run vehicle descriptions after the collision to help
generate more tips and arrests. She said three legislators already had
pledged support for the bill and it will be introduced to committees when
the 2017 Statehouse session starts later this month.
There is a way to protect yourself in the event you are injured in a hit-and-run
accident. Make sure you purchase collision insurance for your vehicle,
and uninsured motorist coverage for injuries you may sustain.
If you suffered an injury after being struck by a driver who fled the scene,
contact Todd Miner Law and speak to an Orlando personal injury attorney today.