Troopers, victims urge Florida drivers to 'do the right thing,' don't hit-and-run

198 people killed in Florida hit-and-run crashes last year

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Orlando Police officers are reminding drivers this month to always stay at the scene of a crash with a hit-and-run awareness campaign.

In 2018, law enforcement officers across Florida investigated more than 101,000 hit-and-run crashes. Statewide, 198 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in hit-and-run crashes.

In Central Florida, troopers investigated almost 6,000 hit and run crashes, 18 were fatal.

On Tuesday, crash victims' families took to the podium to advocate and remind drivers to stop and stay at the scene. 

Last year, teenager Cody Loechner was hit by a driver while he was riding his bicycle on Alafaya Trail.

"My 13-year-old was left on the side of the road by a hit-and-run driver," Cody's mother Tammy Loechner said. "Its been a very long road for us, so please, if you hit somebody, stop and call 911. Do the right thing. Don't just leave innocent people on the side of the road."

On average, FHP receives 30 to 40 hit-and-run crashes a day in the Central Florida area.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol website, drivers who leave the scene of a fatal crash could face first-degree felony charges and a minimum sentence for four years in prison.

Drivers who leave the scene of a crash causing property damage face a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!