JPD sees increase in hit and run accidents

Posted by Jessi Turnure

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department said it is seeing more hit and run accidents. Over the weekend, there were more than seven documented hit and run accidents in the area.

Most of the accidents occurred at an intersection. Others included a car hitting another vehicle while the driver was under the influence, a car hitting a utility pole and a car hitting a building.

"It's the duty of every driver one to know what to do and second to make sure the other party in the accident isn't injured," Sgt. Lyle Waterworth said.

A duty some drivers don't follow. "Some times there's one where a young driver was involved in an accident. He said in his statement that he didn't know what to do."

But he said every driver should know how to handle an accident before operating a vehicle. "They should pull over to the side of the road, clear the roadway if there's no injury, exchange information with the other party, and any time there's more than a thousand dollars worth of damage in a motor vehicle collision, they have to file a police report by state law."

But if a driver doesn't stop after an accident, Waterworth said if it's a property damage only accident, it's a misdemeanor offense where the person could see court costs and court fines.

Waterworth said it's difficult to find the hit and run culprits. "We do follow up on every hit and run we investigate if there's enough information we can go on."

But that's the main issue with hit and runs...information. That is why Waterworth said the victims need to be extra aware of their surroundings. "If you're involved in an accident, get the license plate number and a good vehicle description of the other party's vehicle as well as a description of the driver if you possibly can. That way, if the person does leave the scene of the accident, the police department and yourself have more to go on when it comes time to following up on leaving the scene of the accident," Waterworth said.

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