Hit and run cost victims and economy

Sgt. Keith Finchum
Sgt. Keith Finchum

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A car or truck wreck is bad enough. It's made even worse when the other driver speeds off, leaving you behind in their dust.

A simple run to the corner convenience store ended with a broken arm and totaled car for Sandra Clark. Today she has no one to hold accountable.

"They hit right in this area and stalled my vehicle and they had to back up and then they went all down the side and took off," said Sandra Clark, a hit-and-run victim.

That sort of thing happens to a lot of drivers. Eleven percent of all vehicle accidents are hit and runs.

"The majority of the time, it's either no drivers license or no insurance. Some of them, the drivers are intoxicated and then sometime the people just don't want it on their driving record," said Sgt. Keith Finchum of Nacogdoches Police.

The person leaving Clark hurt is now wanted for a felony. In Texas, the crime is a third degree felony if the accident involves a fatality or serious bodily injury.  The car that gets bumped in the parking lot is a misdemeanor. Either way, one is person holding the bill.

"Well, I'll have my medical expenses for sure and the expenses of renting a car. My insurance will pay for it somehow and then I'll pay for it in the long run," explains Clark.

The state of Texas has an uninsured/underinsured law to give citizens a lower deductible in hit and run cases.

"The state mandates you do have a deductible of $250 for that benefit. And that's a lot better than a normal deductible that most people have of $500 or more," said insurance agent Les Littleton.

Police work hard to identify people of hit and run car accidents, but cases aren't solved very often.

Sandra Clark is hoping someone will see in Nacogdoches a dark green compact car with a damaged driver's side.

Police advise if you're in an accident to assume the other person could drive off. Get a car tag number as fast as you're able.

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