AAA: Hit-and-run deaths hit record high

Posted at 9:40 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 07:01:41-04

According to AAA, more than one hit-and-run wreck happens every minute on roads across the country, and now these crashes have resulted in the highest number of deaths on record.

On April 29, a Central Texas high school senior was lucky to make it out of one of those wrecks alive.

Eighteen-year-old Parker Kazda was heading home from Waco to West when he was hit by a semi that was changing lanes.

"He just kept pulling over and sadly I saw that he was coming so I just kind of braced for it and took the hit," Kazda said. "We had three spinouts I think and crashed into the median."

Thankfully, Kazda made it out unscathed, but the driver of the 18-wheeler would never know since they didn't bother to stop.

"Kind of unbelievable, just to even look up and see like where would he be at and just not seeing him in sight," Kazda said.

Kazda isn't alone. AAA said nearly 700,000 hit-and-run crashes have occurred each year since 2006 and now hit-and-run deaths have hit a record high with more than 2,000 deaths in 2016 alone.

"I definitely have someone watching over me, which is nice to think about and a very nice feeling to not be injured at all and just being able to walk away from that," Kazda said.

Police officers everywhere are also quick to say that leaving the scene of an accident is the worst thing you can do.

"You've just caused yourself more trouble and you've upped the charge on what potentially may be nothing more than a civil report that we're going to make to document the crash," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton with the Waco Police Department. "Now you've just created another criminal charge when you leave the scene of an accident like that."

Kazda has chosen to forgive the driver who got away, but he won't forget their actions.

"Accidents happen, I get that but I feel like as a driver your responsibility is to pull over if you are in that situation," Kazda said.

Kazda's not sure if his car is totaled or not. He said his Jeep has been in a collision center since the accident and he's not sure when or if he'll be able to get it back.

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