Local News

May 9, 2013 6:25 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

6 Investigates: Hit and Runs

CORPUS CHRISTI - You've probably noticed that hit and run cases are showing up more and more lately. It seems like every week there's a new victim, someone getting hit by a driver who flees the scene.

Corpus Christi police say it's one of the biggest problems in the city. They deal with nearly 2,000 cases a year, about 150 cases a month.

But to really understand how devastating many of these hit and runs can be, all you have to do is take a look at the victims.

Like 17 year old Christian Carrillo, who was nearly killed a few months ago.

Carrillo was headed home after a long day at work when he was struck by a car.

But the driver didn't stop, he didn't even check to see if the boy was alright, he just drove off.

Or how about 23 year old Amanda Arriola. She was walking home after celebrating with her friends on New Years Eve, the driver hit her head on.

As she recovers, she only wants to know one thing.

"How could they not stop after they hit somebody? Because I'm small and you know, I could have died," Arriola says.

Or how about a more recent example, local attorney Richard Leishen. He was hit by 87 year old Pat Suter when he was riding his bike down Ocean Drive.

So why are people getting hit? Getting caught for hit and run usually ends in serious jail time, but many drivers would rather risk that than the certainty of getting caught for D.W.I.

And there's another reason. A recent report from AAA shows that the seven states with the largest number of illegal residents have the most hit and run accidents. And Texas is one of them.

In fact, a Texas lawmaker proposed a bill that would allow illegal residents to get a drivers license without proof of citizenship or residency.

He feels most illegal residents get scared and think they're automatically going to go to jail when they get in any accident.

This is true in other countries.

Representative Robert Alonzo sponsored the bill and feels if it passes, it would cut down on the number of hit and runs.

To give you an idea of just how bad this problem is. Statistically, in an average year, you have a better chance of getting killed riding or cycling in the city than you do of getting murdered.

C.C.P.D says they only have two investigators working on hit and runs in the whole department. They'd like to increase that number to something like 14 in the near future.

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