KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s no official data tracking hit-and-run crashes, but police agree they certainly seem to be on the rise in Kansas City.
That especially has been the case in October for hit-and-run crashes involving pedestrians.
Just after 7 p.m. Wednesday, a 61-year-old woman was killed not far from her home. She was hit by a vehicle as she crossed Troost Avenue near 82nd Terrace. The driver didn’t stop.
Toward the end of the most recent Kansas City Chiefs home game, Steve Hickle was hit and killed by not one, but two drivers. No one stopped.
Erinn Billups is luckier. She’s still alive suffering several serious injuries to her head and face. But she still can’t believe a hit-and-run driver left her to possibly die Saturday near the intersection of 43rd and Main street.
“Unfortunately by virtue of the nature of the type of collision that occurs with a pedestrian, a lot of these drivers find their vehicle still runs they can leave the scene and take advantage of the opportunity,” KCPD Sgt. Bill Mahoney said.
But even if the car can’t run, video shot Tuesday morning shows it doesn’t mean the driver won’t. A mom and her three kids were t-boned into a tree on the Paseo at 74th Street.
The next day Kansas City, Kansas, Police say 22-year-old Alyssa Arreola, of Independence, hit several cars and kept going as part of a violent crime spree.
Mahoney said people have all kinds of reasons for taking off, suspended licenses, stolen vehicles, impairment. But sometimes he says they mistakenly assume they’re at fault.
“Giving us an opportunity to come in and investigate and get your account we’ll keep that in mind as we work forward in the investigation. But when you leave you’ve created nothing but more problems for yourself,” Mahoney said.
Hit and run accidents in Missouri range from class A misdemeanors landing a person with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to class E and D felonies when they result in injury or death. Those more serious crimes carry anywhere from up to four or seven years behind bars.
Police say they have a lot of ways to track hit and run drivers these days, cameras, car parts, but often the best identification comes from eyewitnesses. They are asking anyone with information, including the drivers themselves involved in these crashes, to come forward or call the TIPS Hotline at 816 474-TIPS.